fischerspooner – emerge

“Hyper-media-ocrity”

A decade ago, you couldn’t go out in Cape Town on a Friday for about a year without hearing this somewhere (or, as a DJ, being begged to play it by punters). It was HUGE.

Appearing on the performance art/electroclash duo Fischerspooner’s first album #1, “Emerge” was released as a single three times: first in 2001 on International Deejay Gigolo Records then by FS Studios/Ministry of Sound in 2002, and on Capitol in 2003.

the verve – already there

Off the John Leckie-produced masterpiece of ’90s psychedelia, A Storm in Heaven (Hut/Vernon Yard, 1993). Visual material from Andrei Tarkovsky’s incredible film, Solaris (1972). 

I was so in love with this album for so many years, yet I have hardly listened to it in the past decade…  It’s hard to figure out why.  I don’t think it’s because I tired of it. Listening again now to the full album, I get the very same goosebumps as always. Most likely the reason I haven’t listened to it is because I have it on CD, and I haven’t really listened to CDs in a long time (though I am pretty sure I have it ripped to mp3 somewhere?). Heck, I don’t even own a CD player anymore, except for my old Walkman and the DVD drive in my Windows laptop. More broadly, it’s interesting to think about how different the mix of listening formats is now compared to when this came out, and how the format of a recording affects its consumption… But I think that may be an essay for another day when I’m feeling less spacey!

Hello it’s me, it’s me
I want to touch you
It’s me throwing stones from the stars
On your mixed up world

Been circling round for twenty years
And in that time I’ve seen all the fires and all the liars
I’ve been calling home for twenty years
And in that time I heard the screams rebound to me
While you were making history

LISTEN TO A STORM IN HEAVEN, and dream galaxies…

marie laforêt – la voix du silence

A cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” on Laforêt’s Album 3 (Disques Festival, 1967). The video contains footage from the film, The Graduate (1967)in which this and other Simon and Garfunkel songs feature prominently during pivotal montage scenes.

one reason curiosity is good for you

Egon Schiele - Sitting Woman in a Green Blouse. 1913

Egon Schiele – Sitting Woman in a Green Blouse. 1913

Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Happy people, are, simply put, curious. In a 2007 study, Todd Kashdan and Colorado State psychologist Michael Steger found that when participants monitored their own daily activities, as well as how they felt, over the course of 21 days, those who frequently felt curious on a given day also experienced the most satisfaction with their life—and engaged in the highest number of happiness-inducing activities, such as expressing gratitude to a colleague or volunteering to help others.

Yet curiosity—that pulsing, eager state of not knowing—is fundamentally an anxious state. When, for instance, psychologist Paul Silvia showed research participants a variety of paintings, calming images by Claude Monet and Claude Lorrain evoked happy feelings, whereas the mysterious, unsettling works by Egon Schiele and Francisco Goya evoked curiosity.

Egon Schiele, 1917

Egon Schiele, 1917

Curiosity, it seems, is largely about exploration—often at the price of momentary happiness. Curious people generally accept the notion that while being uncomfortable and vulnerable is not an easy path, it is the most direct route to becoming stronger and wiser. In fact, a closer look at the study by Kashdan and Steger suggests that curious people invest in activities that cause them discomfort as a springboard to higher psychological peaks.

Of course, there are plenty of instances in life where the best way to increase your satisfaction is to simply do what you know feels good, whether it’s putting your favourite song on the jukebox or making plans to see your best friend. But from time to time, it’s worth seeking out an experience that is novel, complicated, uncertain, or even upsetting—whether that means finally taking the leap and doing karaoke for the first time or hosting a screening of your college friend’s art-house film. The happiest people opt for both so that they can benefit, at various times, from each.

Read the whole article on Psychology Today, HERE.

Egon Schiele - Wally with a Red Shirt. c. 1913

Egon Schiele – Wally with a Red Shirt. c. 1913

louise gluck – time

There was too much, always, then too little.
Childhood: sickness.
By the side of the bed I had a little bell —
at the other end of the bell, my mother.

Sickness, gray rain. the dogs slept through it. They slept on the bed,
at the end of it, and it seemed to me they understood
about childhood: best to remain unconscious.

The rain made gray slats on the windows.
I sat with my book, the little bell beside me.
Without hearing a voice, I apprenticed myself to a voice.
Without seeing any sign of the spirit, I determined
to live in the spirit.

The rain faded in and out.
Month after month, in the space of a day.
Things became dreams; dreams became things.

Then I was well; the bell went back to the cupboard.
The rain ended. The dogs stood at the door,
panting to go outside.

I was well, then I was an adult.
And time went on — it was like the rain,
so much, so much, as though it was a weight that couldn’t be moved.

I was a child, half sleeping.
I was sick; I was protected.
And I lived in the world of the spirit,
the world of gray rain,
the lost, the remembered.

Then suddenly the sun was shining.
And time went on, even when there was almost none left.
And the perceived became the remembered,
the remembered, the perceived.

__
From The Seven Ages (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2001)

how to dance the “black bottom”

The “Black Bottom” (aka “Swanee Bottom”) was originally from New Orleans, later worked its way to Georgia and finally New York. Some say the “Black Bottom” was introduced by blues singer Alberta Hunter (which is probably true as many songs & dances were “stolen” and reproduced by someone else). However, it has been reported that the Black Bottom was derived from an earlier and similar dance called the “Echo.” The dance was done all over the South before Perry Bradford wrote his “Original Black Bottom Dance” in 1919.

Simple moves were created by natural movements, like the stomp was to imitate a cow’s feet stuck in mud.
__
The above info is posted below the Youtube video. Read more (a different story) about the supposed origins of this ’20s dance craze HERE, and watch another video from 1927 from the British Pathe archive:

flapper

don marquis – certain maxims of archy

stale pastelive so that you
can stick out your tongue
at the insurance
doctor

if you will drink
hair restorer follow
every dram with some
good standard
depilatory
as a chaser

the servant problem
wouldn t hurt the u s a
if it could settle
the public
servant problem

just as soon as the
uplifters get
a country reformed it
slips into a nose dive

if you get gloomy just
take an hour off and sit
and think how
much better this world
is than hell
of course it won t cheer
you up much if
you expect to go there

if monkey glands
did restore your youth
what would you do
with it
question mark
just what you did before
interrogation point

yes i thought so
exclamation point

procrastination is the
art of keeping
up with yesterday

old doc einstein has
abolished time but they
haven t got the news at
sing sing yet

time time said old king tut
is something i ain t
got anything but

every cloud
has its silver
lining but it is
sometimes a little
difficult to get it to
the mint

an optimist is a guy
that has never had
much experience

don t cuss the climate
it probably doesn t like you
any better
than you like it

many a man spanks his
children for
things his own
father should have
spanked out of him

prohibition makes you
want to cry
into your beer and
denies you the beer
to cry into

the old fashioned
grandmother who used
to wear steel rimmed
glasses and make
everybody take opodeldoc
has now got a new
set of ox glands and
is dancing the black bottom

that stern and
rockbound coast felt
like an amateur
when it saw how grim
the puritans that
landed on it were

lots of people can make
their own whisky but
can t drink it

the honey bee is sad and cross
and wicked as a weasel
and when she perches on you boss
she leaves a little measle

i heard a
couple of fleas
talking the other
day says one come
to lunch with
me i can lead you
to a pedigreed
dog says the
other one
i do not care
what a dog s
pedigree may be
safety first
is my motto what
i want to know
is whether he
has got a
muzzle on
millionaires and
bums taste
about alike to me

insects have
their own point
of view about
civilization a man
thinks he amounts
to a great deal
but to a
flea or a
mosquito a
human being is
merely something
good to eat

boss the other day
i heard an
ant conversing
with a flea
small talk i said
disgustedly
and went away
from there

i do not see why men
should be so proud
insects have the more
ancient lineage
according to the scientists
insects were insects
when man was only
a burbling whatisit

insects are not always
going to be bullied
by humanity
some day they will revolt
i am already organizing
a revolutionary society to be
known as the worms turnverein

i once heard the survivors
of a colony of ants
that had been partially
obliterated by a cow s foot
seriously debating
the intention of the gods
towards their civilization

the bees got their
governmental system settled
millions of years ago
but the human race is still
groping

there is always
something to be thankful
for you would not
think that a cockroach
had much ground
for optimism
but as the fishing season
opens up i grow
more and more
cheerful at the thought
that nobody ever got
the notion of using
cockroaches for bait

archy
__
By Don Marquis, in archy and mehitabel, 1927. I was introduced to this delightfully cynical cockroach and his friend, the cat Mehitabel, as a pre-teen on holiday at my grandparents’.

“danielle”

This is so trippy.

©2013 Anthony Cerniello

“I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process. The idea was that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”

Still Photographer: Keith Sirchio
Animator: Nathan Meier
Animator: Edmund Earle
Nuke Artist: George Cuddy
Music: Mark Reveley

Find out more about the creative process HERE.

louise gluck – ripe peach

Gustav_Klimt_020 3 ages of woma

Gustav Klimt – “The Three Ages of Woman”

1
There was a time
only certainty gave me
any joy. Imagine —
certainty, a dead thing.

2
And then the world,
the experiment.
The obscene mouth
famished with love —
it is like love:
the abrupt, hard
certainty of the end —

3
In the center of the mind,
the hard pit,
the conclusion. As though
the fruit itself
never existed, only
the end, the point
midway between
anticipation and nostalgia —

4
So much fear.
So much terror of the physical world.
The mind frantic
guarding the body from
the passing, the temporary,
the body straining against it —

5
A peach on the kitchen table.
A replica. It is the earth,
the same
disappearing sweetness
surrounding the stone end,
and like the earth
available —

6
An opportunity
for happiness: earth
we cannot possess
only experience — And now
sensation: the mind
silenced by fruit —

7
They are not
reconciled. The body
here, the mind
separate, not
merely a warden:
it has separate joys.
It is the night sky,
the fiercest stars are its immaculate distinctions–

8
Can it survive? Is there
light that survives the end
in which the mind’s enterprise
continues to live: though
darting about the room,
above the bowl of fruit–

9
Fifty years. the night sky
filled with shooting stars.
Light, music
from far away — I must be
nearly gone. I must be
stone, since the earth
surrounds me —

10
There was
a peach in a wicker basket.
There was a bowl of fruit.
Fifty years. Such a long walk
from the door to the table.

__
From The Seven Ages (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2001)