The Dispossessed

The concept of ownership — items, people, ideas — is the heart of master storyteller Ursula Le Guinn’s 1975 masterwork The Dispossessed. Winner of the Nebula and Hugo awards, the highest literally awards for science fiction writers, this story transcends that genre’s boundaries. It is a story of a man Shevek, a physicist/anarchist, from the arid and socialistic planet Anarres who creates The Principle of Simultaneity — instantaneous communication — something that will revolutionize interstellar communication between all worlds. This is a tome about philosophical and ideological differences and how one views what is truly the best utopian society or how two neighboring planets occupied by anarchists and capitalists view/exploit the Shevek's discovery.

The book's narrative timeline is non-linear, so one may feel compelled to reread certain passages or chapters, but once you understand the author's intention and cadence the rewards of the narrative will unfurl in perfect order. In fact, I reread the opening chapter several times to unlock a deeper understanding of the protagonist's predicament.  Read more »

Legendary '70s Jazz Sessions Reissued

Michael Cosmic: Peace in the World / Phill Musra Group: Creator Spaces (Now-Again)

For fans of avant-garde jazz who like to dive deep into the music's history, this combination of two rarities is the reissue of the year. Michael Cosmic and Phill Musra are twins who were born, respectively, Thomas Michael Cooper and Phillip Anthony Alfred Cooper in Chicago in 1950. Falling under the influence of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians after being recruited as teens by AACM member Roscoe Mitchell, they studied with Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams. A year at the University of Wisconsin (1970-71) gave them the opportunity to take Cecil Taylor's class, after which they moved to Boston along with fellow student Jemeel Moondoc. Read more »

Getting AMPed!

AMP
Written and performed by Jody Christopherson
Directed by Isaac James Byrne
Presented by Goode Productions at HERE, NYC
December 5-19, 2017

Imagine, if you will, a frog’s legs, ending abruptly not in a frog but merely in its spine, carefully cleaned of the flesh that once held it. Next, multiply this image, and picture a chain of these macabre trinkets strung out in an elevated location. Finally, conjure in your mind’s eye a lightning strike that sets those legs twitching and jerking of their own accord. This is the one of the first images with which Jody Christopherson’s new play, AMP, confronts the audience, plunging us into a nineteenth-century stew of galvanism, resurrection men, and tragedy-tinged literary legends. Read more »

Quote of the Week: Alvin Ailey

alvin_ailey.jpg"Its roots are in American Negro culture, which is part of the whole country's heritage. But the dance speaks to everyone. Otherwise it wouldn't work."

Alvin Ailey

(5 Jan. 1931 - 1 Dec. 1, 1989), modern dancer, choreographer, and founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Christmas (Is Coming Down) - Dusty Wright

dusty-xmas-coverHere's my holiday single, "Christmas (is Coming Down)," featuring Kenny Margolis (Cracker), Dan Levine (They Might Be Giants), David Ogilvy, Ms. Laura Fay Lewis, and artwork by Shiloh Jenz.

This pop rock ditty, and all of my music, can be purchased and/or streamed on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and other digital music outlets.

And check out my single -- "FLY" -- on Bandcamp featuring vocalist Queen Esther.

It's the perfect stocking stuffer for your digital player.

Happy Christmas! peace, Dusty

Don't Bogart Those Billboards

If I could, I would rent three billboards and they would read:

Billboard One: This movie is frustrating

Billboard Two: Because its story is badly flawed

Billboard Three: But the performances are great

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri goes rogue after the first act/first third of the movie. Read more »

Pox Populi

Yayoi Kusama
David Zwirner Gallery, NYC
Thru December 16th, 2017

Spots are a disease -- a "Pop Art" pox; a sign of madness, an hallucination. As Tony Hancock says in his brilliant comic movie The Rebel (1961) where he plays a modern artist: "I get the spots before my eyes, the red mist, and I'm off."

Yayoi Kusama is off again at David Zwirner Gallery on 533 West 19th Street in Chelsea. You will have to queue around the block to see her new installations. But you can just walk into a room on 19th street and see 66 of her new paintings. This is a review of the work in that room. Read more »

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight)

After the credits rolled, I wrote in my notes: "an epic and magical adult fairytale drama for the ages." This beauty and the beast fable is set in Maryland in 1963 during the height of the Cold War as well as culture wars against civil, homosexual and women's rights, and reinforces what we already know about that time period. Director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro is not afraid to let us peer backwards to see the world today, to see the world through his lens and view the real monsters that roam our planet. He paints his world in a by-gone era patina that is both warm and familiar -- the spot-on period sets with the cars, and clothes and shabby apartments, the films and TV shows -- as well as the dark and paranoid. It was a time in America's history just before the barriers of the man vs "monster" ethos would to be confronted, whether it was the threat of the Soviet Union's communism and global domination, or the fear of African-Americans, the handicap, gays or women wielding a voice in our society; sadly these issues exist today. Even the creature's design is reminiscent of the original Creature From the Black Lagoon (Universal, 1954). But, having said all of that, it is more than just an homage to a bygone era. Read more »

Quote of the Week: Jackson Pollack

"Every good painter paints what he is."

Jackson Pollack (28 Jan. 1912 - 11 Aug. 1956), influential American abstract expressionist painter.

The Return of David Broza's Annual Xmas Eve Concert in NYC!

Singing in Hebrew, Spanish, English, and Arabic, singer/songwriter David Broza, one of Israel’s most important living artists, brings the full spectrum of his work to this amazing production with his all-star band and special guests. (I've had the honor of opening fro David, and he is the real deal.)

Israel’s iconic singer/songwriter, guitarist and UNICEF goodwill ambassador David Broza will embark on a coast-to-coast winter tour this December, celebrating 40 years since the release of his best-known song, "Yihye Tov" (Things Will Be Better). The well-known composition was written in 1977 during the Arab-Israeli peace talks between Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, and has become an anthem of the Israeli peace movement. Read more »

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

From all of us to all of you, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Album of the Week: Melanie De Biasio - Lilies

As I mentioned back in June, Miss Melanie De Biasio truly transcends description and/or refuses to be boxed into any one musical genre. Her latest nine-track album Lilies was released last month. This captivating Belgian artist incorporates jazz, classical, nufolk, even electronica into her musically rich vocabulary to create her truly unique and atmospheric sound; imagine Nina Simone meets Talk Talk.  Read more »

Voyage to Anomie

Voyage to AnomieSome people find travel broadening. Some people travel to relax and get away from it all. When Geoff Dyer travels, the world is like a million hammers, pounding him into himself, creating a strange and wonderful hall of mirrors that, while it can be trying -- even depressing -- is strangely exhilarating. That's the basic story and feel of Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, Dyer's irrepressible but annoying memoir/travelogue, published in 2003.

Dyer is a thinker/writer. Thankfully, he has a comic's touch; sometimes he can be very funny indeed. Most of the humor comes out of the situations he, pathetic geek that he is, puts himself in. There are a couple of "jokes" which ring out discordantly, but overall, the humor is organic and tinged with some pretty deep, pretty depressing thinking. Read more »

Dusty Wright - "Weather This Storm"


For survivors everywhere... here's the video collaboration of visual artist Ashley G. Garner with Dusty Wright. The song was produced by d. Bindi, mixed by David Lee, and mastered by Alan Douches for West West Side Music. Recorded by Gio Loria at Black Volt Studio, LA & Straus Park Studio, NYC. Co-vocals by Jay StolarRead more »

Pericles: Born in a Tempest

Pericles: Born in a Tempest
Conceived and directed by Jordan Reeves
Presented by Hunger and Thirst Theatre with the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project at the West End Theatre, NYC
November 2-18, 2017

If you have ever dreamed of watching Batman fight in the midst of a Shakespeare production, now is your chance to make that fantasy a reality. How fantasy in the form of storytelling (Batman included) intertwines with our lived realities partly drives Jordan Reeves' imaginative adaptation of Shakespeare's Pericles. Reeves' Pericles: Born in a Tempest both streamlines the sprawling original and weaves in a modern framing narrative in which the Shakespearean text becomes a book, The True Tales of Pericles, given to a woman by her recently deceased father. Of course, Shakespeare, arguably with a collaborator, was himself adapting a well-known medieval romance, the tale of Apollonius of Tyre, primarily the version set down by John Gower in his fourteenth-century Confessio Amantis; and this tale in turn likely derives from a classical Greek source. From this perspective, Reeves' version of Pericles acts as the latest example of how the same story can persist and change over centuries to meet the needs of its readers and audiences.  Read more »

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