Monday July 4 2022
There is no better antidote to July 4 than Usher playing a thirty-minute Tiny Desk Concert: breath control, good humor, endless tone, fellowship. Or, if you’d like to vibe the hell out and listen to the music of a country with an active sense of history, read this long guide to kosmische and krautrock I wrote for Shfl. It contains sixty-eight recommendations in the blurb format. You can’t lose!
You can hope for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham in connection with the murder of Emmett Till (not too late) or you can buy the new binder from Interrupting Criminalization. You can also download their PDF for free if you’re strapped.
This Cory Doctorow dissection of the various entanglements of McKinsey and the Sacklers will double cook your burgers.
I encourage you to come to Joe’s Pub this Friday, July 8, to see Eszter Balint’s I Hate Memory! I will be there. This is Balint writing and singing her own kind of memoir, which she describes as an “anti-musical” featuring appearances by “family, film and fame, immigration, joy, theater and shame, dance floors, open doors, papaya ice cream and the Shah of Iran’s wife.” In the ‘70s, a teenaged girl comes to New York from Hungary, where the state is spying on her theater company. What was that like? Not so different from NYC cops reading your tweets today. Here is a bit from one monologue, quoting a Hungarian police report:
“Classified: According to our observations, the group continues its activities, holding performances for 25-30 people at a time in the evenings, at their residence. The plays are performed employing western bourgeois neo-avantgarde methodology, which aim to subvert and shock. Their goal is to seduce our youth with a false allure of ‘otherness.’ They play a very different kind of theater, and invoke a different lifestyle than what our Socialist Culture has to offer. They do not adhere to the rules and regulations essential for coexisting within our society.”
James Hoff made a collection of all the Artforum top ten lists between 1998 and 2008. Hosted on UbuWeb, this “hefty artist’s book” reprints the text of every column “alongside the abstract designs of blacked-out photographs that once depicted the writers’ picks.” The form encourages a casual kind of opinion that isn’t hemmed in by ideas of editorial control and professional copy. Which leads one to ask, why do people write in the editorial and institutional tone, ever? We’d rather everyone just speak their mind. Helps to stay crispy when watching how and when journalism undermines itself. This, happily, is the opposite of that.
Listen to this recent, short, and unexpected BBC radio interview with Kate Bush, occasioned by the return of “Running Up That Hill.” Respect the architect!
Have you seen the Lindsay Lohan Fornarina commercial from 2009? You see, briefly, Lindsay walking through a suburb of Tron and doing war with trapezoids. She did this, one hopes, in exchange for a fat packet from an Italian shoe and bag brand.
This comment below, from rec.music.progressive on Usenet, says a lot about what role the internet came to play in the 28 years since it was posted. (The YES here is the band.) A supervisory urge that began in love and enthusiasm becomes a self-righteous, quasi-legal scientism that confuses a single opinion for axiomatic thinking about the greater good without any consistent axiom or concrete sense of the good. This is goofy self-will, nothing else, and it runs through every political persuasion out there. It’s hilarious and also kind of not. (Original text courtesy of Andy Zax, who did not write it! As he said: “I’m just the guy that laughed at it and hit ‘save’ in 1994, never suspecting that the internet would become the growth-rich medium that dipshits like this would use to ruin basically everything.”)
Subject: My feelings about what is and is not YES...
Date: Thursday, 5 May 94 22:56:56 -0500
I cannot believe the predominance of Cinema (“YES-West”) fans on this message base that is supposed to be for progressive rock. Those who like 90125, Big Generator, and Talk should go somewhere where they discuss Van Halen, Axel Rose. It makes my blood BOIL when I see some of you people blaspheme against Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford.
I have seen some post stating that Steve Howe and Bill Bruford decided not to be part of what ended up being the new Cinema album called Talk, I will call it Gag. What happened was the money grubbing business people in Victory Records had too much say in the matter and kicked them out of YES. Then they tried to force Rick Wakeman to leave any and all record companies he had dealings with and only deal with Victory. So Rick Wakeman left YES which at that point left only the members of Cinema. Why Jon Anderson did not leave right then and there is beyond me. He wanted to sing on the masterful Symphonic Music Of Yes, only marred by the track “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” But Victory would not let him sing on but a couple of tracks. It was a good YES album any way. YES could continue as a trio, Wakeman, Bruford, and Howe. Or if Trevor Horn would join them it would make an interesting YES combination.
I have seen that same post saying the Rick Wakeman was busy making boring albums. Have you bothered listening to Classic Tracks or Wakeman With Wakeman? Classic Tracks was the best release of 1993.
I have seen another post stating that Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe is as close to YES as we can get. NO, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe was YES, ABWH is a YES album, ABWH is YES music.
It has the power and intensity and the emotion of YES. Human courts said it could not be labeled YES, but let us not listen to human courts but to the human heart. ABWH takes YES into new fresh musical directions, something Trevor Rabin has never heard anything about. It was the right progression at the right time. My soul was carried to unimaginable heights when I heard Themes and Brother Of Mine for the first time and every time I have heard it since. In fact, Themes is my second favorite YES song. ABWH showed that YES could do without Chris Squire, just as Drama showed YES could do without Jon Anderson. Chris Squire decided to leave YES in 1980 and never returned until 1991 when Cinema and YES joined forces for one magical moment that lead to the current break-up of YES.
Those true YES fans out there who are supporting Cinema by buying Talk and who are going to see the Cinema tour are misguided and disloyal. You can serve YES better by abstaining from supporting such trash that Cinema is putting out. Those on the side of YES must speak out! Ironically they must talk!
Trevor Rabin on the other hand must be silenced. When someone told him that this album did not sound Yes-like, he said good, let’s keep it that way! He does not believe in YES, he does not want to venture in sonic landscapes, he thinks copying old ideas is moving forward. He is the enemy of YES, and YES will never be at peace until Cinema and Trevor Rabin stop Talking.