“When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness—and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”
— Michael Chabon “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh”
5:29 pm • 3 May 2011 • 11 notes
From the Numero Group compilation Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes, the third in the ongoing series that collects obscure tracks from singer/songwriters of many decades previous and long since forgotten. Previous editions include, Ladies of the Canyon, which compiled female folk singers from the Laurel Canyon scene of the 60’s and 70s. Lonesome Heroes on the other hand is filled with ‘troubadour folk’ from the 70’s and early 80’s. Roger Lewis was the youngest of those included on the album and his song ‘Autumn’, a beautifully quiet song about advancing age. Here’s what Numero Group had to say about him:
“Junior to the rest of the wayward loners we’ve collected, Roger Lewis was just a teen amid the cultural revolution that inspired the bulk of these songs. Born in 1960 in Santa Barbara, California, Lewis slung a guitar as early as the fourth grade. The private Laguna Blanca School’s confines roped Lewis into kinship with Wade Vesey—one of only 17 students in his 1978 graduating class. Despite the academy’s meager population, the hillside school proved to be fertile ground. Much of Lewis and Vasey’s songwriting fruit was performed for friends in intimate settings, exchanged and advanced by a loose collective. One alumnus operated a rudimentary studio and gave the duo a shot at cutting a few compositions. They’d dipped toes into the deep end of recording, but college was of higher priority than fully tracking any material out. In fall 1978, Roger Lewis headed north to Stanford. William Ackerman and George Winston had found in this patch of farmland a source of inspiration, but Lewis was only intimidated. He trained his attentions on science, but summers put him back in the comfort of familiar surroundings, and Lewis emerged from his shell, writing and recording a number of songs with Vesey over several years. “Autumn” is a fragile gem about the bittersweet nature of getting older, Lewis’ only solo piece on the duo’s Breaking Camouflage LP. None of the 300 copies pressed were ever sold; all were given away to friends and family, as a yearbook-style memento of their decade-spanning friendship. Roger Lewis and Wade Vesey remain friends to this day.”
10:56 pm • 2 May 2011 • 3 notes
From ‘Twentysix Gas Stations’ by Ed Ruscha (1963)
(via k as in knife)
7:35 pm • 29 April 2011 • 5 notes
“I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs.”
— Joan Didion “Goodbye to All That” (via karen)
7:31 pm • 29 April 2011 • 7 notes
‘Foster’s Freeze, Escalon’ by Robert Bechtle (1975)
(via the atari generation)
8:01 pm • 28 April 2011 • 9 notes
‘Woman and a Window Display’ by James Jowers (1968)
In the late 1960’s James Jowers was working as a night porter at St. Luke’s hospital in New York, which left him free to roam the city during the day, taking pictures of life as he encountered it on the streets. More images of his work from this period can been seen here, courtesy of the George Eastman House, to whom Jowers donated the photographs and copyright in 2007.
(via K as Knife)
4:47 pm • 27 April 2011 • 4 notes
“Why Not Your Baby”
Dillard & Clark
An original member of the The Byrds and the primary songwriter of many of their early hits, Gene Clark’s career after leaving that band under somewhat acrimonious circumstances was littered with disappointment and battles with record labels. His post Byrds album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, was one of the first to wed rock and country when it was released in 1967, but was a commercial failure. His first proper solo album, the stark and minimal White Light (which I highly recommend), fared no better when it was released in 1971 (although it was big in the Netherlands).
In between those efforts Clark recorded two efforts with Doug Dillard, the great banjo player, as Dillard & Clark. This song from The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark, like all of Clark’s work, deserves a far wider audience than the relatively small number of peope who bought his records before his death in 1991.
7:11 pm • 26 April 2011 • 24 notes
I lived in Fort Greene, Brooklyn at the corner of Vanderbilt and Myrtle Avenue for nearly two years but it was only when searching for old images of subway maps for this poster that I learned about the Myrtle Ave El.
The elevated train that ran down Myrtle, not far from my door, it began service in 1888, from downtown Brooklyn to Queens, passing through Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Ridgewood, and Middle Village. But like many of New York’s elevated trains, it was shut down on October 4th, 1969 after more than eighty years of service and demolished the following year.
The photographs are from the personal collection of Patrick Cullinan who spent his childhood riding the line to school everyday and chronicled the train’s final days in this collection of vibrant color photographs that evoke a Brooklyn long since gone.
9:06 pm • 24 April 2011 • 14 notes
A deleted scene from Ermanno Olmi’s Il Posto. Only Olmi’s second feature, it was shot entirely with ‘non-actors’ in the streets and offices of Italy, similar to the neo-realist films of the period. However, unlike those films which permeate with a bleak sense of desperation, Il Posto is often quite funny with a warmth and humanity that recalls the films of Jean Renoir. Olmi is less interested in judgment or rendering an overt political point of view than simply observing.
From Kevin Lee’s synopsis of the film: “We follow the steady progress of teenage Domenico (Sandro Panseri) through his application, admittance and orientation into a large bureaucratic company, writer-director Ermanno Olmi’s masterpiece unassumingly encompasses the broader social mechanisms that shape an individual’s values and desires, from the coveted front desk of the office floor to the fresh-faced girl Magali (Loredana Detto) whose prospects of romance with Domenico are both introduced and achingly stalled by company circumstances.” This scene, which Olmi chose to remove because he thought it lengthened the film unnecessarily, continues a moment in which Domenico spots Magali leaving work under the umbrella of another male coworker.
3:34 pm • 21 April 2011 • 4 notes
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
— Gustave Flaubert
2:48 am • 19 April 2011 • 6 notes
From “Rodeo”, a collection of more than 60 photographs by Louise Serpa, with a foreword by Larry McMurtry.
4:41 pm • 17 April 2011 • 14 notes
“Over and Away She Goes”
An enigma if there ever was one, Bill Fox began his musical career in the 1980’s fronting the Ohio power pop band The Mice, a major influence on the state’s indie rock scene, including the Dayton band, Guided by Voices. The Mice disbanded in 1988 and Fox wasn’t heard from again until the late 90’s when he released two solo albums and then promptly quit the music business and returned to seclusion. In 2007 Joe Hagan attempted to track down Fox for a really terrific piece he wrote for the June/July issue of The Believer, attempting to get to the bottom of why he’d quit music and where he was now.
4:12 pm • 16 April 2011 • 20 notes