Sunday, October 28, 2007

regading CONTROL

Things I enjoyed about CONTROL:

1. the black and white photography

2. hearing 'warszawa' in the background when Ian chats with Annick
(it made me want to listen to LOW by David Bowie, which I haven't done in far too long.)

3. the general experience of the film fit the subject

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Varvalia Lodenko (Excerpt)

A brief excerpt from Jordan Stump's translation of MINOR ANGELS by Antoine Volodine.


Varvalia Lodenko

Varvalia Lodenko laid down her rifle, took a deep breath, and said:
'Oh mindless men! Oh spineless women!'
'Before us lies the land of the poor, a land whose riches belong only to the rich, a planet of flayed earth, of forests bled ash-dry, a planet of filth, a vast expanse of filth, oceans that only the rich can cross, deserts polluted by the playthings and blunders of the rich, we see before us cities whose keys lie in the hands of the multinational mafia, circuses whose clowns are controlled by the rich, televisions devised for their entertainment and our stultification, we see before us their great men standing high atop a pedestal that is nothing other than a barrel of bloody sweat shed by the poor, or yet to be shed, we see before us the glorious stars and all-knowing celebrities, who, for all their much-vaunted dissidence, never once express any opinion that might in any way undermine the long-term strategies of the rich, we see before us their democratic values conceived for their own eternal preservation and our eternal inaction, we see before us the targets they have singled out for our loathing, always subtly, with an intelligence far beyond our folk-understanding and with a gift for duplicitous language that obliterates our poor-folk wisdom, we see before us their fight against poverty, their assistance to the poor, their emergency aid programs, we see before us their free distribution of dollars to keep us poor and them rich, their dismissive economic theories and their ethic of hard labor and their promise of universal riches to come, in twenty generations or twenty thousand years, we see before us their omnipresent organizations and their agents of influence, their spontaneous propagandists, their infinitely expanding media, their heads of family scrupulously faithful to the most luminous principles of social justice as long as their children have a guaranteed place on the right side of the scales, we see before us a cynicism so well oiled that the merest allusion to its existence, condemns you to a place of invisible marginality, close to madness, far from any drum, far from any follower, I stand before all this, in an empty land, speaking words that expose me to insults and condemnation, we stand before all this, which by rights should stir up a worldwide tempest of rage, a pitiless surge of extremism, ten decades at least of pitiless reorganization and reconstruction by our own rules, free of all religious logic, free of the financial logic of the rich, outside their political philosophies, without a second thought for the howling of their final watchdogs, before all this we have stood for hundreds of years, and still we have not found the way to plant insurrection, at the same time and on the same date, in the minds of all the billions of poor folk to whom it has never yet occurred, how to make it take root and finally flower. Let us find the way to do this, then, and let us do it.'
Here ended Varvalia Lodenko's speech.

Minor Angels
Antoine Volodine
Translated and with a preface by Jordan Stump
Published by University of Nebraska Press
2004. 166 pp.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Control - in Boston October 26!!!

One Week Only!
Starts Friday, October 26 at the Kendall Square Cinema

Director: Anton Corbijn

Cast: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Toby Kebbell, Harry Treadway, Andrew Sheridan, Robert Shelly

MPAA Rating: R

Run Time: 2hrs 1min

Release Year: 2007

Country Of Origin: UK

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I've been absent, I suppose from all this. I generally observe and keep myself busy with reading-- all the films I want to see are foreign and undistributable in this country. What else is new? Most fixed points stay right where they are pausing for adjustment as the earth turns on its axis. A plum situation if you ask me. I'm trying to keep my mind as focussed as possible and entertained, is that the right word? There always seems a fine line between happiness and pleasantries and abject humiliation. I tread it carefully-- one defines one's inner vision.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

James Blackshaw - Tonight in Boston

from the most recent non-event update:

Wednesday, October 10. 7:30pm. $8.00.

End of an Empire Presents:

James Blackshaw (Tompkins Square, Important Records)

plus Black Forest/Black Sea (Secret Eye)
and Eli Keszler (Red Horse, Jandek)

Mills Gallery
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston (South End)
Show starts promptly at 7:30pm and is all ages.


Performing and recording since 2003, James Blackshaw's name is frequently mentioned alongside the likes of Jack Rose, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Sir Richard Bishop and Glenn Jones as one of the most foremost modern pioneers of solo acoustic guitar music. Now at the age of 25, Blackshaw, an untrained musician born and still residing in the suburban environs of Greater London, draws as much inspiration from early religious music, South-Asian folk music and composers such as Arvo Part, Simeon Ten Holt, Steve Reich and Charlemagne Palestine as he does from John Fahey, Robbie Basho and the early Takoma Records roster, constantly breaking boundaries in what could be conceived as a somewhat limited medium. In his part improvised and part written songs, Blackshaw makes expert use of Eastern and Western scales, chord changes reminiscent of European classical music and incredibly intricate fingerpicking patterns to make a sound that is both challengingly minimalistic, yet warm and approachable to anybody who might hear it, with a rare sensitivity that conveys both immense beauty, hope and sadness.

"In recent months, 24-year-old UK guitarist James Blackshaw has burst fully-formed onto the folk underground, his remarkable talents already seeming at peak maturity... Blackshaw has established himself as an instrumentalist of astonishing grace and delicacy, seeming as though he's gobbled and digested whole the primitive folk canons of Takoma and Vanguard. Relying primarily on 12-string guitar, Blackshaw's intricate creations web together Robbie Basho's wayfaring mysticism, Ben Chasny's soft-focu sed acid tongues, and the rustic fantasias of Sandy Bull... Blackshaw is able to differentiate himself through his exotic lyricism, stray pan-ethnic flourishes and pure unmasked virtuosity." - Pitchfork

Upcoming End of an Empire Shows:
November 2: Alasdair Roberts, Charalambides, and Heather Leigh Murray at the Nave Gallery
November 13: Tiny Vipers and Alela Diane at Venue TBA

For more information on End of an Empire go here.

Upcoming Non-Events:
October 12 (this Friday!): Local Experimental Music Showcase IV with Tim Feeney & Vic Rawlings, The Human Hairs, and Max Lord at Studio Soto
October 26: Julien Ottavi (France), Seth Cluett, and Mike Bullock at Studio Soto
November 10: Tatsuya Nakatani and David Stackanas at Studio Soto

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

matters of theory

I'm barely coherent now waiting for things to begin. What happened of late? I've been going out more, perhaps not enough. The last book I read was "In Patagonia" by Bruce Chatwin-- it made me wonder if a friend had that in mind before heading South. Some nights of interest are starting up here locally with more of a Sixties vibe to them-- they might be regular events for me, much like in the mid-nineties. Its better than waiting for the right bands to come around. A couple of screenings to report on shortly to ease the pressure of wondering what to do next.

I finally saw "30th Century Man", the new documentary on Scott Walker. The team behind it did a really good job at revealing a driven, enigmatic figure. I like how the film focuses on his creative life than his personal situation. The broad range of interviews from luminaries such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker and others really brought a sense of immediacy to the project.

I still have various publications to sift through now. Perhaps something will come of this.

Another note: I'll be on the air this Friday-- with the new music as always.