Peanuts Dance

I was delighted to see this Peanuts / Bad Brains mash up video and started wondering if anyone had reenacted the Peanuts kids dances. Thankfully the Kids in the Hall scooped the YouTube generation:

Guggenheim Highlights 12/3/12

Pablo Picasso
Le Crâne (Tête de mort)

Picasso created this skull during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Not to sound obsessed but it looks like something Mike Mignola could have made.

November 2012

Kurt Cobain's handwritten list of his top 50 favorite albums. 
See also: Tom Waits' handwritten list of his favorite songs.

Esther Phillips - Use Me // You and Me Together

Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC - Salgo de Casa

Helene Smith - Pain In My Heart

Jessica Pratt - Night Faces
Hard to believe this is a brand new song and not a forgotten Laurel Canyon songstress.

Joann Garrett - It's No Secret
Wait for the left turn freak out at 1:55.

Lee "Scratch" Perry - Bathroom Skank
This is what I'm going to sing to my kids at bath time. They're going to be so weird.

Limonada - Cambiar La Rosa

Michael E. White - One of These Days

Skip Spence - War in Peace
This sounds like Alan Sparhawk of Low being backed by the Grateful Dead.

The Stark Reality - Say Brother

Willie Bobo - Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries


Captain Murphy's new hypnotizing (and very NSFW) video mixtape.

MoMA Highlights 12/1/12

Atsuko Tanaka
Drawing after Electric Dress
Crayon on paper

This inspired me to cover a whole wall of our apartment with red crayon.

City 47 Project
Cut and pasted silver gelatin photographs with graphite mounted on board

Diller + Scofidio
Blur Building, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Katsuhiko Narita

Kitadai Shozo
Mobile (Mobiru) Wood and Japanese paper
The First City from Twelve Ideal Cities

Twelve Ideal Cities is a wry comment on twentieth-century modernist utopias and it represents, the architects have written, "the supreme achievement of twenty thousand years of civilization." In The First City, or 2,000-Ton City, cubic cells stacked atop one another form a continuous building that stretches across a green, undulating landscape. Each cell is equipped with technology capable of accommodating all human desires and physiological needs. In this city, humans are in a state of equality and death no longer exists, but if an inhabitant tries to rebel against this ideal state, the ceiling of his or her cell will descend with a two-thousand-ton force obliterating the dissenter and making way for a new perfect citizen, This dystopian scenario originated in a critique of modern ideals of planning, rationalization, and consumerism; it uses architecture as a device that, like literature, can express political viewpoints about society.

Bernard Tschumi
The Manhattan Transcripts Project, New York, New York
Introductory panel to Episode 3: The Tower (The Fall)

Photographic reproduction with colored synthetic laminate

You're Going To Get Eaten

Melville's sardonic answer to the Transcendentalist movement, which produced Thoreau (and Whitman). "You might sit astride a mast and feel your oneness with nature," Melville wrote, "but fall into the sea and you're going to get eaten."

October 2012

Biggie after graduating from kindergarten

Art Blakey - The Feast

Buddy Miles - The Segment

Eddie Finley - Treat Me Right Or Leave Me Alone

Frank Cunimondo Trio feat. Lynn Marino - Feelin' Good

How To Dress Well - When I Was In Trouble // & It Was U // World I Need You, Won't Be Without You (Proem)

Janet Jackson - If (Kaytranada Remix)

Jimmy La Sane - Black Folks Love Country Music Too

Ruth Brown - I Don't Know

Shakey Graves - Word of Mouth

Symphonic Four - Who Do You Think You're Fooling

Terry Dunavan - Earthquake Boogie

TNGHT - Bugg'n

Trifle - New Religion


Kanye Wes

The story behind Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures cover:

Thank You Jesus

Just got my long awaited Showmen record in the mail. In the liner notes, the lead singer Norman "Cricket" Johnson (later of Chairmen of the Board) names Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Sam Cooke, and Ira Tucker of the Dixie Hummingbirds (above) as his favorites.

September 2012 Music

The Ba-Benzélé Pygmies - Hindewhu (Whistle) Solo 
The song that inspired Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man. Play it for your dogs, they'll love it.

The Blenders - Don't Fuck Around With Love*

The Brooklyn Allstars - I'm Glad You're Mine

Count Ossie - Bongo Man
Wow! Rasta modal jazz! From AllMusic: "The foundations of reggae and its association with Rastafarianism were established by drummer, percussionist, and vocalist Count Ossie (born Oswald Williams). Together with his band, the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Count Ossie combined African-influenced music with the European hymnal tradition to create a unique sound that inspired everyone from Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus and the Skatalites to Bob Marley & the Wailers and Toots & the Maytals." 

The Darling Dears & Funky Heavy - I Don't Think I'll Ever Love Another

David Bowie - Memory of a Free Festival (Alternate Album Mix)
In case you wanted your Memory two minutes longer and echo-drenched. 

Flying Lotus - Sultan's Request // Putty Boy Strut

I Roy - Tougher than Tough
For the past 18 years I thought the sample was "This is Ralph and Tony." 

Jackie Wilson & LaVern Baker - Think Twice (Version X)*

Jimmy Smith - I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby

Lucille Bogan - Shave 'Em Dry*

The Meditation Singers - Good Old Gospel Music // Trouble's Brewin'

Motörhead - Overkill

Nora Dean - Ay Ay Ay

The Rivingtons - Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow

Tito Puente & His Orchestra - Hit de Bongo

* These are all from WFMU's smutty music post.


A never aired half hour performance of 1969 David Bowie for German television:

Strippers in space:

LA is a trippy, funky place:

A Prince look-alike contest! Make sure to see kid Prince at 2:53

Boutique-era Beasties on Soul Train with an added verse rapping about Don Cornelius!

Scientist remixes What's Going On:

LargeUp: Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires was released in 1981 and then a year later, Michael Jackson’s Thriller came out utilizing some of the same B-Horror movie sound FX and samples. When you heard Thriller, what did you think?
Scientist: [Laughs] You really want to know what my honest opinion was? The composition is good. But I really wish I could get those tapes of Thriller to really make Michael Jackson–hear how he really sounds. Here’s what the gospel truth is: Thriller is a form of electronic music that came out of reggae. I am a person who created hi-fidelity and set the standard and the benchmark. So when I hear Michael Jackson’s music–to people in that time, because it was new to them, it was like “Wow,” but I could hear all the defects. Just like I could hear all the defects in Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” song. The whole world knows that song. But when that song came out about the same time, I could hear all the weakness that Motown was putting on it, because people never heard that music in any other way and they grew up listening to it like that, they believe that’s what it’s supposed to sound like. The evidence is when you go back and listen to the exact same track that I remixed–it’s just a rough mix–the original mix comes nowhere near to it. The same exact instruments. Reggae is what set the benchmark for these other genres. It’s not the other way around like what people who are trying to confuse the world to think. Remember, Jamaica’s the place where a recording console became an instrument.

My First New York

From David Rakoff's contribution to this collection of famous people's recollections of first moving to New York:

There was no one specific moment when the rigorous self-consciousness gave way to authenticity. It was more of a dim realization that the very act of playing the "Are we a New Yorker yet?" game means you aren't one yet. But it eventually happens, dawning on you after the fact, tapping you on the shoulder after you've passed it. It comes from an accretion of shitty jobs, deeply felt friendships that last, deeply felt friendships that end, funerals, marriages, divorces, births, and betrayals, and you wake up one day to realize that you passed the eight-year mark decades prior; that you are older than all the characters in Manhattan, with the possible exception of Bella Abzug; that you have been to a party in the garden at MoMA and watched the sun come up over Sutton Place and the Fifty-ninth Street Bridge and decided that, in the end, you'd rather stay home; that only a rich moron would buy his groceries at Dean & DeLuca; and that, as fun and Margo Channing as it might seem to be drunk and witty and cutting, it's probably better in the long run to be kind. These are all realizations endemic to aging anywhere, I am sure. It must happen in other cities, but I've really only ever been a grown-up here.

August 2012 Music

The Commodores - Celebrate

Flosstradamus - Rollup (Baauer Remix)

Gábor Szabó - Some Velvet Morning
The Hungarian jazz guitarist covers Lee Hazlewood.

Janey & Dennis - Take It From A Friend

Mugadzikwa Mwanagona - Chirombo Weye Nditerere
This is off an LP of Alan Lomax's field recordings in British East Africa. I think it was recorded in the 1950s. From the liner notes: "Played by Mugadzikwa Mwanagona (13) at Roman Catholic Location School, Fort Victoria, S. Rhodesia. In many districts, the use of indigenous instruments is discouraged by the missions, but young lads like this Karanga boy continute to play the Mbira. The boy had been given it by a Nyassa musician, but had tuned it to his local mode, paying his melodies in a manner traditional to his own district." Fucking missions...

Neil MacArthur - She's Not There // Without Her // Don't Try To Explain
I'm curious to know what possessed Colin Blunstone of the Zombies to re-record his hit song under a psuedonym, and then again in Italian.

The New Birth - You Are What I'm All About
I like to think of this song as an I Want You Back for (funky) grown-ups.

Soko - I Will Never Love You More


This mixtape of Digable Planet's sample sources.

Tina Fey's guest verse closing out Childish Gambino's new album:

The Doors perform the Reading Rainbow theme song:

And lastly, playing Cypress Hill through a squid:

Where the Buffalo Roam

I remember once being so low on cash that my friends and I saved money by watching the same rented movie several nights in a row. That movie was Where the Buffalo Roam.

Bill Murray is not a name associated with method acting, but in 1979, he came face to face with Hunter, spent weeks of all night drug-fuelled bad craziness to get into character and nearly didn't survive to tell the tale. During production Bill and Hunter staged a series of dangerous one-upmanship duels. Legend has it that after many drinks at the author's Colorado home and after much arguing over who could out Houdini the other. Hunter tied Bill to a chair and threw him into the swimming pool, he nearly drowned before Hunter relented and pulled him out. Bill immersed himself in Hunter so deeply that when Saturday Night Live started its fifth season, he was still in character. The role overtook him, he had virtually become Hunter—complete with long black cigarette holder, dark glasses and bad habits. His memory of shooting the film are a little sketchy. Bill recalls: "I rented a pad in L.A. with a guest house that Hunter lived in. I'd work all day and stay up all night with him, I was strong in those days and could take it. But I took on another persona and that was tough to shake. I still have Hunter in me, wanting to break out."

The whole movie is now on the Tube. Trivia alert! Neil Young is hanging out outside a bar at the 15:32 mark.

June & July Music

Stevie roller skating
Billy Nicholls - Would You Believe?
Andrew Loog Oldham commissioned this album to be the British response to Pet Sounds. Only 100 copies hit the streets before label difficulties mothballed it.

Body Language - Falling Out

The Brothers Johnson - I'll Be Good To You // Land of Ladies

Clydie King & Brown Sugar - Dance to the Music

Doris - You Never Come Closer

Henry Lee Roberts - Halley's Comet (Dissolved)

The Jackson 5 - I Am Love

Larry Young - Turn Off the Lights

The Lat-Teens - African Twist // Now You Know

Quartetto Cetra - Crapa Pelada

Scott H. Biram - I See the Light/What's His Name?

The Makers - Don't Challenge Me

Todd Terje - Inspector Norse


This Boosh-y video:

Inside Led Zeppelin's private jet, 1973.

Cee Lo on American Dad:

Mr. Show's never released Rooms: The Musical:

A prequel mixtape to the forever delayed MF Doom / Ghostface Killah collaboration DOOMSTARKS.

This chopped and screwed midnight music video uses clips from Black Dynamite, Night on Earth, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Smiley Face, Death Wish, V, Dazed and Confused, Howard the Duck, Cruising, Danger: Diabolik, The Girlfriend Experience, Holy Mountain and 50 more I can't identify:

And lastly, Let My People Come: A Sexual Musical.

Truman Capote — Summer Crossing

What infinite energies are wasted steeling oneself against crisis that seldom comes: the strength to move mountains; and yet it is perhaps this very waste, this torturous wait for things that never happen, which prepares the way and allows one to accept with sinister sincerity the beast at last in view...

Most of life is so dull it is not worth discussing, and it is dull at all ages. When we change our brand of cigarette, move to a new neighborhood, subscribe to a different newspaper, fall in and out of love, we are protesting in ways both frivolous and deep against the not to be diluted dullness of day-to-day living. Unfortunately, one mirror is as treacherous as another, reflecting at some point in every adventure the same vain unsatisfied face, and so when she asks what have I done? she means really what am I doing? as one usually does.

In the Time of Your Life

“In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”

William Saroyan, The Time Of Your Life

ICP Highlights 7/29/12

[Check for two murders], 1939
[Accident on upper roadway of Grand Central Station, New York], 1944

Balcony seats at a murder

November 16, 1939

"Speaking of Pictures . . .," LIFE, April 12, 1937, pp. 8–9

Le Temps Retrouvé

Autograph manuscript of Proust's Le Temps Retrouvé with attached sheets of revisions
Something else I found in a book of old clippings. It looks like a Choose Your Own Adventure book being written. Speaking of, I just saw this tumblr collecting all the death pages from those books.


Click to enlarge

Found this in a Heavy Metal magazine from the 80s. If I recall correctly, the World Trade Center was the command center of a fascist future government. See also DMZ.

Joseph Mitchell — Joe Gould's Secret

I read this years ago but just found a piece of paper in my attic with this passage jotted down from the days before blogger:
Suppose he had written the Oral History, I reflected: it probably wouldn't have been the great book he had gone up and down the highways and byways prophesying it would be at all — great books, even halfway great books, even good books, even halfway good books, being so exceedingly rare... Anyway, I decided, if there was anything the human race had a sufficiency of, a sufficiency and a surfeit, it was books, the Niagara of books, the rushing rivers of books, the oceans of books, the tons and truckloads and trainloads of books that were pouring off the presses of the world at that very moment, only a very few of which would be worth picking up and looking at, let alone reading. I began to feel that it was admirable that he hadn’t written it. One less book to clutter up the world, one less book to take up space and catch dust and go unread from bookstores to homes to second-hand bookstores and junk stores and thrift shops to still other homes to still other second-hand bookstores and junk stores and thrift shops to still other homes ad infinitum. 
Combine that sentiment with Hemingway's "There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is write what hasn't been written before or beat dead men at what they have done." and you'll see why my literary output has been so limited.

Early July Tidbits

Via Yimmy's Yayo

I assumed Jean Touitou was some 70s French cultural intellectual but, oops, he's the founder and head designer of A.P.C.

I read today that ancient Mexicans (this was a very old book) considered the Milky Way the sister of the Rainbow. See previously.

Tom Waits just made a super-rare appearance on Letterman! He makes me so happy, aside from the vaguely sad feeling I get learning we were within a mile of each other...

The Getty Center Highlights 6/14/12

Charles Ray
Boy with Frog
Painted fiberglass

Arnold Genthe
Edna St. Vincent Millay
About 1917

Years later, Millay asked, "Why is it that the girls of so many of our best families insist upon getting all safety-pinned up into several yards of mosquito-netting and standing about on somebody's golf-links while Arnold Genthe takes their photograph?"

René Magritte
La Folie des Grandeurs

Based upon one of his earlier paintings with the same name

May 2012 Music

Barbara Mason - Girls Have Feelings Too // Hello Baby

Billy Preston - Volcano

Boots Sex Dread - Rinka
Oh how I wish this anonymously released reggae record about the pleasures of gay sex was real and not a prank by British comedian Keith Allen!

Harry Mudie - Heavy Duty Dub

Isley Brothers - Who's That Lady (Early Version)

Michael Washington - Cupids Corner

Nicolai Gromin - Corrida

Pedro Iturralde - Las Morillas de Jaen


A scene from Richard Pryor's brief variety show in which his heavy metal band kills the entire audience over the course of one song:

This winning entry for a recent Ableton contest looks like the game Simon but for aliens:

WFMU's two hour MCA tribute was the best I heard:

Some pre-Illmatic teenage Nas demos:

Escher + Moebius