Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Voro Ergo Sum

In the week that has gone I have recovered from a nasty bout of the flu, written a new ten page thesis plan for my PhD, had a government-sponsored health check for my fortieth year on planet earth (very healthy it seems), written an exam for culture studies students, given a short presentation on wikis, arranged four groups of students to visit to HUMLlab and hanging with my amazing children. This is why blogging here has become less frequent. I hope this is a temporary situation, but if the new thesis plan is accepted by my supervisor (meeting tomorrow), I am going to be writing basically all day every day for quite a while.

And now post my recommendations for online media that I have seen head and read in the last week.

Leonard Cohen, Live From The Beacon Theatre

First, this concert is historic and a knockout. Leonard Cohen is a brilliant poet and songwriter. Second, Cohen may be coming to a town near you — details are in this recent blog post. If you have a chance to see him live, don't pass it up.

At 74, Cohen is no spring chicken. That said, his voice was in fine form and his stage presence is so graceful and passionate that you may rethink all those other great shows you've seen by younger artists.

This concert, from the gorgeous Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, finds Cohen revisiting a body of work that's more than 40 years deep and full of songs that have inspired every generation of songwriters since: "Dance Me to the End of Love," "Bird on a Wire," "Chelsea Hotel," "Sisters of Mercy," "Suzanne," "Hallelujah," "I'm Your Man," "Famous Blue Raincoat."

639 Free Songs for Download from

So much music. Not just junk either, songs by Sepultura, Bob Mould, Youssou N'Dour feat. Neneh Cherry, Meshuggah, The War On Drugs and a lot of music I have never heard of.

Four Films by Derek Jarman (1942-1994

Journey to Avebury (1971)

Garden of Luxor (1972)

Ashden's Walk on Møn (1973)

Stolen Apples for Karen Blixen (1973)

Studio Bankside, 1971. Jarman's warehouse loft on the Thames, populated by the creative "glitterati"-artists, designers, and musicians-that constituted his social circle at the time. Sloane Square (1974-76) using stop-frame filming techniques to record the artist's friends, companions, and working environment. Ashden's Walk on Møn (1973) and Sebastiane Wrap (1975) In the earlier film, ghostly images of men walking through a forest to a beach ringed by cliffs are superimposed with brilliant celestial configurations, while the later film presents a seemingly abstract shape that eventually resolves into a large reflective square set on a beach amongst sunbathing nudes. In the Shadow of the Sun (1974) stands as a culmination of many of Jarman's interests throughout the early 1970s, combining several short films shot over the previous years that express his interest in symbolism, alchemy and Jungian philosophy.

Containing two side-length ragas, this record, released on Mississippi "subsidiary" Change Records, was the first US release for noted singer and spiritual leader Pandit Pran Nath. Pandit Pran Nath (Devanagari:पंडित प्राणनाथ ) (3 November 1918–13 June 1996) was a Hindustani classical singer and teacher of the Kirana gharana (school), with a successful American career. Pran Nath collaborated with minimalist innovators La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and this record is a great example of the far-out, post-lingual aesthetic he helped to develop, and which was further explored by bands like Sun City Girls.

10 Classic Films from the Internet Archive
# The Kid (1921) - Here you have Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length film that launched his important career.
# Nosferatu (1922) - A memorable adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A masterpiece from the era of silent films.
# The Phantom of the Opera (1925) - Another major classic (by Rupert Julian) from the silent film era.
# His Girl Friday (1940) - One of the better known comedies from the 1940s directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
# Penny Serenade (1941) - A touching romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.
# Scarlett Street (1945) - Directed by Fritz Lang, otherwise known for Metropolis (1927) and M (1931), during his Hollywood stint.
# DOA (1950) - A film noir classic directed by Rudolph Maté.
# Panic in the Streets (1950) - Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Jack Palance.
# Beat the Devil (1953) - Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart.
# Suddenly (1954) - A thriller featuring Frank Sinatra and James Gleason.

The Lost Electric Six Organs Of Admittance Album

This is the unreleased Electric Six Organs record. It’s a short record because the tape ran out on one song. I think of myself as fairly unsentimental. I am much more of a “fuck the good old days” kind of guy but listening to this for the first time in years the other day took me back for a moment to May 22, 2002. Usually when I listen to a record I’ve made or even happen upon a bygone rehearsal tape I can’t for the life of me imagine what I was thinking, where I was or why it was done this way. Perhaps it is because this tape is so raw and off the cuff but when I listened to it again I could really see the room, remember where everyone was standing, the lighting, the kind of beer we were drinking, for once I could understand where, why and how we did it.

Electric Six Organs.
Recorded in San Francisco, May 22, 2002

1.1000 Birds
2.Close To The Sky
3.Even If You Knew

Ben Chasny, Vocals & Lead Guitar
Noel Harmonson: Bells and Rhythm Guitar
Ethan Miller: Rhythm Guitar
Ben Flashman: Bass
Utrillo Kushner: Drums

Keep flying!!!

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