Thursday, August 31, 2006

Live 1,000 lives by picture

There is so much to say. I want to take the time to formulate an adequate response to all these events swirling around me. It is the last day of August. I still have so much to do. A few errands to run momentarily trucates the entry- turns it into a brief taster for things to come. So much of what is here is devoted to my perception of the world. Things and Events that interest me. My position in all of this is that of the critic, the artist who seeks to enrich lives by commenting on them, to shape his own life by correcting it at every turn. It is so easy to think that everything is in decline from what we produce culturally and political to, on a more fundamental level, the manner in which we treat other human beings. There needs to be a happy medium between self-interest and concern for others. I have received support from close friends in recent weeks.

My friend Tom recommended this poem:

--Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.


My friend Khadijah sent me this poem (bracketed by an excerpt of our chat):
Khadijah: that sounds like blaming her not yrself
3:33 PM shitty thing is when things work we feel good about ourselves when they fail we feel like shit and then time passes and we realize there's no other way it could've gone down...
life shit!
me: yeah
3:34 PM Khadijah: but that maybe if one or both of you can work through whatever is creating the walls, if there's something retrievable, you'll retrieve it.
but if not,
i have a poem for you.
me: i feel like she's moving on with her life and i'm standing still
or not
3:35 PM she still really wants to be friends


A Community of the Spirit

There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and "being" the noise.
Drink "all" your passion,
and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.
Open your hands,
if you want to be held.
Sit down in this circle.
Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd's love filling you.
At night, your beloved wanders.
Don't accept consolations.
Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover's mouth in yours.
You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
Twenty more will come.
Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.

There's a strange frenzy in my head,
of birds flying,
each particle circulating on its own.
Is the one I love "everywhere?"
3:36 PM You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
Twenty more will come.
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

3:37 PM me: wow thanks
Khadijah: that's rumi
13th cen
sufi poet


Both response, in their own ways are quite apt, I am thankful to have such good friends.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Martial Canterel

Martial Canterel is my friend Sean McBride's electronic project. The album "Confusing Outsides" may have been described on the genetic music website as sounding like "The Wake without guitars". Or perhaps this is how I remember it, at any rate, this description is fairly accurate, it also reminds one of early Human League and Section 25, that is to say, definately like something coming out of Northern England and Northern Europe in the late '70s early 80s. It is appropriate that Martial Canterel is labelmates with Skanfrom aka sleeparchive, (interview with Sleeparchive here) both have an affinity for making music which references and uses original (vintage) equipment to produce solid, fat, chunky analogy synth sounds. Some of the songs also remind me of Mark Van Hoen's solo work and his Locust project. I started playing Martial Canterel's work since first hearing about it in 2004. It was kind of a pain to track down as I had to order it directly from the Belgian distributor flexx. Needless to say, it was definately worth the effort. If you really like older synth sounds combined with narratives about the emptiness of modern life, I suggest you immediately track down Martial Canterel's work.

Check out Martial Canterel's official site.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Speaking in Code - benefit in Boston tonight!!!

Speaking in Code Benefit - details here.


Top 25 most played - as of today

This is what my itunes says right now - any questions?

I Want Some Fun Funkstörung feat. Jay Jay Johanson !K7 (Disc 2)
Leave Me Alone 4:40 New Order Retro [Disc 2]
Velocity Girl 1:22 Primal Scream Shoot Speed (More Dirty Hits)
Ivy Ivy Ivy 3:04 Primal Scream Shoot Speed (More Dirty Hits)
The Worst Taste In Music (Extended) 3:21 The Radio Dept. Pet Grief
Missing You 2:33 Club 8 Waking Up
Jarvcast 001 7:49 Jarvis Cocker Jarvcast Podcast
I Want Some Fun 4:36 Jay-Jay Johanson Antenna
Suicide Is Painless 3:30 Jay-Jay Johanson Black Session 04/1997
Colder (I Want You No More) 4:41 Jay-Jay Johanson Poison
Time Is Running Out 2:41 Jay-Jay Johanson Poison
Little White Lies 3:54 At Swim Two Birds Quigley's Point
Bonfire On The Field 8:13 Chihei Hatakeyama Minima Moralia
It's A Kid's World 4:32 Disco Inferno
Weakness And Fever 5:22 The Durutti Column The Fruit Of The Original Sin
Real Drums - Real Drummer 2:42 The Durutti Column Vini Reilly
Still All Stands Still 3:00 Eggstone
Wirbelwind Am Manual 0:39 Felix Kubin Matki Wandalki
Menthol Radio Swing 1:59 Felix Kubin Matki Wandalki
Too Technical 2:30 Felix Kubin Matki Wandalki
N.C.R. 4:55 Funkstörung Viceversa
Bad Kid 3:41 Hopper
Capitalism Stole My Virginity 3:32 The International Noise Conspiracy
Poison 4:09 Jay-Jay Johanson Poison
Humiliation 3:06 Jay-Jay Johanson Poison

Monday, August 21, 2006

moving forward - entries

(listening to Jay-Jay Johanson "I want some fun" and most of his "Poison" album)

Left here, cut off, cast away, set adrift, with so many unanswered questions, so many directions left to pursue, in the borderlands. I look for organization, a structure, a way to apply my knowledge to make use of it for the benefit of society, or primarily so it doesn't just sit there, waiting so long for that next moment to come. I cannot keep myself afraid, alone, living in fear for the rest of my life. So many simple things that others do not understand, All these actions that I am subject to, that I am bothered by, a life that is pushed in so many directions trying to define a path, an interest, a whim, a lucrative prospect- At the very least something to prevent my body from shutting down. This shell of skin an bone, the perpetual defeated adolescent, still learning still moving on. To love the apprehension of knowledge and sacrifice. I try to temper my interests and desires-- but every day it is a battle. Some days I feel so helplessly myopic, if only I could sense the future, to taste and smell its movement. Now, it is as before, how I was over a year ago, alone in this city.

This is, in the end, about a kind of prevention, a kind of mechanism, the teeth that hold the right key in place and make it turn. Perhaps it is this, or rather these parts of me, the ones that restrain my action so much that are most open to exploration. The moment, the manner in which I pass through time and space, is coded by so many signals that are unknown to me. I only recognize these things in hindsight. My seeming irritability is a defense mechanism. The sudden urge "not to" do something, this is what marks my life. I believe it comes from a primal instinct to protect the body. On the surface it may seem irrational or just plain silly, but in the moment it all comes across as absolutely necessary. I say to myself, "I've done this before, I've traced these steps again and I know where they lead.", and I stop completely. Only the selfish, the truly self-absorbed fail to recognize this.

My thought is born of so many actions, my presence alone should be treated with some slight respect. Oh, I feel these arrogant thoughts seeping in now, but they are again drawn out by the absence of action, my own reluctance to take control of life.

I read and gather information as always. It is my lifeblood, my one true love, the exercise of my mind to question and explore methods of existence.

Crime Writer to Donate 82 Sickerts to Harvard

From the Art Newspaper Bulletin:

"Patricia Cornwell, who believes that the artist was Jack the Ripper, has promised her entire collection to the Fogg Art Museum

By Martin Bailey | Posted 20 August 2006

LONDON. The crime writer Patricia Cornwell has promised to donate 82 works by the artist Walter Sickert to the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is part of Harvard University. This massive collection, worth millions of dollars, was assembled while Ms Cornwell was writing Portrait of a Killer, published in 2002. The controversial book concludes that Sickert was Jack the Ripper, who brutally murdered prostitutes in London’s East End in 1888."

Full article here.

It's funny that this should come on the heels of a recent exhibition: Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris, 1870–1910, Catalog of the exhibition by Anna Gruetzner Robins and Richard Thomson an exhibition at Tate Britain, London,October 5, 2005–January 15, 2006; and the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.,February 18–May 14, 2006(Tate Publishing, 231 pp., $55.00) and a biography, Walter Sickert: A Life by Matthew Sturgis (HarperCollins, 768 pp., $50.00) both of which were reviewed by Sanford Schwarz in the May 25, 2006 issue of the New York Review of Books.

Yale University Press also has Paintings, which was the catalogue a retrospective exhibition of Sickert's works at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in the early 1990s. Wendy Baron, director of the British Government Art Collection, has a future book coming out next year on Sickert's Paintings and Drawings which should be nearly definitive.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion" dir. Elio Petri (1970) - August 17 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

This Thursday night I strongly urge you to attend the screening of Elio Petri's film "Investigation of A Citizen Above Suspicion" at The Brattle Theatre. This is by far the highlight of the Brattle's lastest schedule. This film acts on so many levels as a pop thriller and political tract that has strangely been neglected despite winning the Grand Prix special at Cannes Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1970.

These are the details:

Thursday, August 17

Italian Masters
Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion at 7:30, 10:00
(1970) dir Elio Petri w/Gian Maria Volante, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio [112 min]

I first saw this film as part of The Films of Elio Petri series that played at the Harvard Film Archive in 2003. To better explain the film- this is the description of it from the series:

"Inaugurating a cycle of cinema politico in Italy, Petri's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is a dark and satirical political thriller set during a time of internal political disturbance, where a psychopathic Roman police inspector (Volonte) cracks down with relish on the political dissidents of the day. After slashing the throat of his masochistic mistress (Bolkan), the inspector is perversely put in charge of the investigation. With sadistic pleasure, he plants clues that implicate himself and then craftily diffuses them, ostensibly to prove his invincibility. As director Petri's split-second edits rocket back and forth between flashback and detection, Investigation becomes a biting critique of Italian police methods and authoritarian repression, a psychological study of a budding crypto-fascist, and a probing why-dunnit. The iciest of film noirs, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film of 1970."

To the best of my knowledge, this film is still unavailable on DVD. Perhaps the good people at No Shame Films will release it in the USA.
A decent primer on his life and works can be found here.
Check the official Eilo Petri Website for another look at the film.

Verso Books Fall 2006

Verso’s Latest – all dates subject to change

Due in September:
John Le Carré, Brian Eno, Harold Pinter, Richard Dawkins, Haifa Zangana and Michel Faber
Not One More Death
Mike Davis City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (new edition)
Antonia Lant Red Velvet Seat: Women’s Writings on the First Fifty Years of Cinema

October: Patrick Cockburn The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

Tariq Ali Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope
Dr. Rice in the House edited by Amy Scholder –
the list of contributors on this is pretty impressive:
Kate Bornstein, author of My Gender Workbook
Wanda Coleman, author of The Riot Inside Me: More Trials and Tremors
Thulani Davis, author of My Confederate Kinfolk
Lisa Duggan, author of The Twilight of Equality?
Eeve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues
Karen Finley, author of George & Martha
Laura Flanders, author of Bushwomen: How They Won the White House for Their Man
Coco Fusco, author of English Is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas
Hattie Gossett, author of Presenting Sister Noblues
Jessica Hagedorn, author of Dogeaters
Rachel Holmes, author of Scanty Particulars: The Scandalous Life and Astonishing Secret of James
Barry, Queen Victoria’s Most Eminent Military Doctor
Arianna Huffington, publisher of
Margo Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of On Michael Jackson
Jason King, Associate Chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU
Peter Kwong, author of Chinese America: The Untold Story of America’s Oldest New Community
Rekha Malhotka, aka DJ Rekha, producer of Basement Bhangra
Mandy Merck, author of Perversions: Deviant Readings
Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, author of Rhythm Science
Jill Nelson, author of Sexual Healing
Avital Ronell, athor of Crack Wars: Literatre, Addiction, Mania
Faith Ringgold, author of Tar Beach
Sapphire, author of Push
Carolee Schneemann, author of Imagining Her Erotics
Kara Walker, MacArthur fellow and visual artist
Rebecca Walker, author of Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

January 2007:
Jacques Rancière Hatred of Democracy
“As certain governments are exporting democracy by brute force, and a reactionary strand in mainstream political opinion is willing to abandon civil liberties and destroy collective values of equality, Rancière explains how democracy—government by all—is the principle that de-legitimates any form of power based on the superiority of those who govern. Hence the fear, and consequently the hatred, of democracy amongst the new ruling class. Hatred of Democracy rediscovers the ever-new and subversive power of the democratic idea.”

Beatriz Sarlo Jorge Luis Borges: A Writer on the Edge
And works in their Radical Thinkers series due to be published January 2007
Radical Thinkers II
Theodor Adorno et al. Aesthetics and Politics: Debates Between Theordor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Lukacs Giorgio Agamben Infancy and History: On the Destruction of Experience Louis Althusser Politics and History: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx Jean Baudrillard Fragments Peter Dews Logics of Disintegration: Poststructuralist Thought and the Claims of Critical Theory Fredric Jameson Late Marxism: Adorno: Or, The Persistance of the Dialectic Ernesto Laclau Emancipation(s) Antonio Negri Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology and the Bourgeois Project Jacques Rancière On the Shores of Politics Paul Virilio Strategy of Deception Raymond Williams Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists Slavoj Zizek The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters

Monday, August 14, 2006

transcription of recent events

7.22.2006 8a.m. (park in Cambridge, MA)

It is quite foggy out right now, I feel a touch of rain on my shoulder. I have no plans today apart from reading and writing. There are three dogs racing about across the park-- two big ones and little one. It sounds like they are having fun. Things are generally quiet now. I have to decide whether to go apartment hunting or to stay at the same place for another year. I know M-- is busy apartment hunting and adjusting to life in Boston. It's been a week since we returned from Sweden and Denmark. A few changes have been made since that time. We are still living apart-until further notice. Time is needed to focus on our own lives, to improve ourselves, to snap out of this inertia--at least that's what I have to do-definitively. A moment: I feel as though I am sitting in a very gray cloud. It is not quite rain, though it feels like it might pick up at any moment. My back is slightly wet-It is nearly time to put my jacket on. Not a bad day for cycling, I gather-that is apart from the damp roads. Heavy thunderstorms pass through here-today and tomorrow. I don't particularly relish staying at home. Perhaps I'll see a film or stay in doors somewhere. Lots of little birds are about as well. I may pause to put my coat on-maybe this will turn to actual rain. There are so may things besides all this racing through my mind. However, I think it is best to start with the immediate present. Seems a little odd perhaps to wake up early, get an ice coffee, then walk to the park for a little observation. I need to sit at a desk someplace where there are few distractions. Everything has the echo of finality or the desperate concerns of the present. A year ago around this time I was desperately falling in love. I'd just returned home from Montreal and had the rest of the summer to play with. Now, now I'm not so sure of what I'm left with.

8.12.2006 7:30pm (Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)
You're going to crash hard if you continue to do this. These seemingly endless circles, recollections of monochrome, tie a noose around your precious lifeline. Still, nothing is happening. People are away, the tourists don't even dominate this space. I feel decades old echoes pierce my eardrums with the bitter consequences of time spent passing. No one to watch over me now. Absolute freedom always comes at a price. A walk, I cannot even make that suggestion. It is far too much. Staccato prose without dignity = primitive humiliation. I am drawn to other moments by the hotel. By this time the winds roll in. I catch a slight cold and anticipate change. Give me it! This great disparity erodes my insides, I am a shell; a husk clamoring for a remade identity. If you don't remake yourself-- others will do it for you. Poverty of the soul is ubiquitous.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ellen Allien & Apparat - USA TOUR





Wednesday, August 09, 2006

La Rupture - the end of summer

Just a few more weeks and its all over. The primary concern is to save this moment. Details will come later, when I have more time. I'm going to watch Alain Tanner's MESSIDOR tonight.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

new Jay Jay Johanson album!!! for release in October

Album Title:

Track 03: COFFIN
Track 06: ONLY FOR YOU
Track 11: PREQUIEM
Track 12: PECULIAR

Good interview about the album and the direction Jay-Jay is going in.