Vir Heroicus Sublimis

"The first man was an artist." Barnett Newman

Before there were fertile grounds growing olives and grapes, before the ages of kings and kingdoms, and long before the shifting of countries and armies when war defined the Valley, the caves were the locus of the wandering tribes who would one day be called "human." Read more »

Sharpeshooter

Tom Sharpe

In case you hadn't heard, Porterhouse is the name of the most notoriously lax, gut, gout-inducing college in Cambridge University. The Porter of Porterhouse is a thick-skinned, pipe-chewing, half-simian thug named Skullion. And Porterhouse Blue is not an athletic team or the college colors, but is instead a description of the distinctive malady induced by Porterhouse's most notable feature oh these past five centuries or so, its rich repasts and its over-stuffed wine cellar -- in short, complete physio-psychic toxic shock. Welcome to Porterhouse Blue.

If there were any question that we are in Tom Sharpe country, consider just one sentence from the opening of this remarkable satire: "An evening to remember Master," said the Senior Tutor sebaceously" Read more »

Natural Order of Things

Natural Impact
Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
The Arsenal Gallery, NYC
Thru April 26th

D. Dominick Lombardi has curated a great show at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park off of Fifth Avenue. On view through April 26th featuring the work of Tim Daly, Cecilia Whittaker Doe, Jodie Mim Goodnough, Brant Moorefield, Lina Puerta and Dominick Rapone. A show of work imagining that, although the relationship between humanity and nature is seen as having rivaling needs, here the two forces are depicted growing together in dialectical resolution. Read more »

Capturing Truths

We Are a Masterpiece
Written by Gina Femia
Directed by DeLisa M. White
Presented by Retro Productions at the Theater at the 14th St. Y, NYC
April 7-21, 2018

In Gina Femia's We Are a Masterpiece, painter John (Ben Schnickel) muses that the purpose of his art is to try to capture (his) truth on a canvas, and one could easily describe Femia's new play as doing the same with a stage. We Are a Masterpiece is presented by Retro Productions, whose mission is to tell stories with a (primarily 20th-century) historical perspective, and this particular story focuses on the early days of the emerging AIDS crisis in the United States, taking place over about eight months in 1982-1983, with a few flashes forward to the present day. It explores the anxiety, condemnation, misinformation, grief, and altruism surrounding the emergence of the epidemic in a deeply human way. Read more »

Single of the Week: Kristoffer Bolander - "Cities"

"I dream of cities, empty cities..." Some songs are immediate while other songs require repeated listens before they sink in. Not so with Swedish singer-songwriter Kristoffer Bolander's new folk-rock pop single "Cities" off of his latest long player released by the Hamburg-based label Tapete. It is immediate and infectious. Produced by Daniel Johansson, this must-listen first single is from Mr. Bolander's excellent second album What Never Was Will Always Be. And the beautiful video was shot on Wolfe Island and directed by Hannes Knutsson. "Cities" is available on streaming and digital platforms like BandCamp, et al. peace, DW

Dusty Wright - "Weather This Storm"

As the storms subside and Spring starts to spring... 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 »

Quote of the Week: Henry Miller

henry_miller.jpg"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."

Henry Valentine Miller (26 Dec. 1891 - 7 June 1980), American writer (from novel Black Spring, 1936).

Postsensical

Unreality Bomb
Thru April 15th

Young Americans in their tweens have adopted a deliberate stupidity as a form of humor. You can see it on TV in shows like Uncle Grandpa. It's a simply executed cartoon where the protagonist talks and acts like an idiot but often with benign results. It’s a Post-sensical psychedelic show on Comedy Central. Fashion-wise girls wear sweatshirts that say -- "I'm sorry I'm late. I didn’t want to come"... Boys wear t-shirts with the wrong band name for the image. Like a Smiths shirt with a picture of Mark E Smith. Read more »

Cartoon by Ken Krimstein

Ken's new hardcover book The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth (Bloomsbury Publishing) will be released on September 25, 2018. In the interim, please order his previous book, the very astute Kvetch as Kvetch Can.

Rise

 

Rise!

Pattern Power, Chaos and Quiet

There are little gems to be taken away from “Pattern, Power, Chaos and Quiet," a show featuring the challenging work of eight very different artists. Curator D. Dominick Lombardi has responded to the idea of landscapes as an ongoing internalization of the idea of nature and an engagement with nature with art as its portal. If art constructs a world, Lombardi’s installation is a way of putting together a scene from that world...it is a fantastic palette and inspiration providing us with an in-depth look at choice artists, their use of various techniques, and how that gives way to drama and harmony. Read more »

A Yard Sale Of The Mind

moz-book

by Simon Goddard (Ebury Press)

Andy Warhol surrounded himself with a variety of freaks, drag queens, and speed heads. The miscreants of Manhattan. He used them in his films, took Polaroids of them, and provided their short and tragic lives with a longevity they wouldn't otherwise have attained. There is a trace of Warhol in Morrissey's supporting cast of stragglers. The difference between him and the silver-wigged wonder is that his are obscure, misunderstood, and largely unknown to the person who admires them so. Read more »

Quote of the Week: Captain Beefheart

"It's hard to use the English language. I'd rather play a tune on a horn, but I've always felt that I didn't want to train myself. Because when you get a train, you've got to have an engine and a caboose. I think it's better to train the caboose. You train yourself, you strain yourself."

Captain Beefheart (born Don Glen Vliet, 15 January 1941), American free-form rock musician and artist.

Hal & Bee

Hal & Bee
Written by Max Baker
Directed by Sarah Norris
Presented by Stable Cable Lab Co. and New Light Theater Project at 59E59, NYC
March 10-31, 2018

Hal (Jeff Hayenga), one half of the titular couple in Max Baker's unsurprisingly excellent new play Hal & Bee, is introduced flipping through cable channels while he vapes weed. Hal's wife, Bee (Candy Buckley), who has a museum job and a healthy taste for Four Roses bourbon, sees this sort of sedentary consumption (which, she notes, they pay for) as having turned their lives into "Sartre by the hour." The complacency that she criticizes, however, is disrupted by a notice that the Upper West-Side building that houses their rent-controlled apartment has been sold and they are being offered a buyout. Hal and Bee's disagreement over how to deal with this development becomes both the entry point into and flash point for other, deeper, longer-standing rifts and anxieties in their marriage and their lives. Lest this sound dire, we remind you that this is a Max Baker play: it's savagely funny as well as intellectually rich. Read more »

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