Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Happy Whales – The Pearl In The Shell

from The Guardian

Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise

Curtailing of shipping due to coronavirus allows scientists to study effects of quieter oceans on marine wildlife

by Karen McVeigh

In cities, human lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic have offered some respite to the natural world, with clear skies and the return of wildlife to waterways. Now evidence of a drop in underwater noise pollution has led experts to predict the crisis may also be good news for whales and other sea mammals.

Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships.

David Barclay, assistant professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University, the lead author of a paper reviewing the phenomena, examined sound power – a way of measuring “loudness” – in the 100 Hz range from two sites, one inland and one farther offshore. He found a significant drop in noise from both.

“Generally, we know underwater noise at this frequency has effects on marine mammals,” Barclay said. 

“There has been a consistent drop in noise since 1 January, which has amounted to a change of four or five decibels in the period up to 1 April,” he said. Economic data from the port showed a drop of around 20% in exports and imports over the same period, he said.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Worse Than COVID

from c|net

Scientists pinpoint ‘most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth’

A paleontologist says time travelers would not survive long in this predator-packed area of Africa 100 million years ago.

by Amanda Kooser

Once you build your time machine, please do not set your destination for 100 million years ago in Morocco. 

An international team of scientists led by paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim of the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Portsmouth in the UK conducted a wide-ranging survey of the creatures and geology of an area in southeastern Morocco called the Kem Kem Group.

“This was arguably the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth, a place where a human time-traveler would not last very long,” Ibrahim said in a University of Portsmouth release on Friday. Some of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever discovered once roamed the region. 

The researchers published a paper on their Kem Kem Group findings in the journal ZooKeys this week. The University of Portsmouth called this “the first detailed and fully illustrated account of the fossil-rich escarpment.” 

Back in the Cretaceous, the area was home to rivers and packed with predators ranging from massive land-bound dinosaurs to flying pterosaurs. They had an abundance of prey to feed on. “This place was filled with absolutely enormous fish, including giant coelacanths and lungfish,” said co-author David Martill from the University of Portsmouth.

[ click to continue reading at c|net

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

When News Became Sports

from Vanity Fair

“SHOTS FIRED. HILTON HOTEL”: HOW CNN’S RAW, UNFOLDING REAGAN COVERAGE HERALDED THE NONSTOP NEWS CYCLE

Ted Turner’s upstart cable network beat the Big Three in reporting on the 1981 assassination attempt, though it—along with its broadcast rivals—made a major mistake amid the studio chaos, an early sign of the perils of breaking news on TV.

BY LISA NAPOLI

On a rainy spring Monday in March, Cissy Baker wound up sending her White House crew to a snoozer of a time-filler: the ballroom of the sprawling Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue, where President Ronald Reagan was about to address the national Conference of the Building and Construction Trades of the mighty trade labor union, AFL-CIO.

As was the custom in the carefully orchestrated universe of Washington politics, the text of the speech had been released to the press corps in advance. Most television viewers were unaccustomed to seeing routine events of the day in their entirety, but this was the kind of typical governmental affair that helped CNN burn through many an hour. There was always the chance that at some point the affable president might “commit news,” as the broadcasters cheekily referred to any unexpected development. Maybe there’d be boos from the audience; a bit of mileage could be had from that. As far as Atlanta was concerned, a speech by the president was far preferable to a five-minute, thumb-sucking analysis from Daniel Schorr. No wonder his nickname at CBS had been “Jukebox.”

The camera lingered on the president as he shook hands and beamed his movie-star grin. Anchor Bernie Shaw smoothly deployed his inside-the-Beltway knowledge in summarizing the remarks. Being able to offer this sort of live, postgame analysis was precisely what had lured him to this job. Who cared if there was no audience?

“President Reagan, in a speech that lasted about 19 minutes, drew applause four times from this group,” Shaw observed, with such authority that a viewer might actually believe there was a significance to the number of rounds of applause.

His midday assignment complete, he tossed the baton back to Atlanta. And during the next commercial break, Baker’s wish for a more interesting day suddenly materialized.

The words rang out from the police scanner at 2:27 p.m. “Shots fired” followed by “Hilton Hotel.”

In that instant, Baker frantically connected the dots: The Hilton? That’s where the president was, with one of her crews wrapping up inside. Her mind raced strategically over the map of the city. The chess game of routing personnel, particularly at a time of crisis, was a crucial part of running an assignment desk. Her back-of-the-hand knowledge of the nation’s capital was precisely the reason she’d been offered this job. It didn’t hurt that she ranked as a Washington insider. Her father happened to be the Senate majority leader, Howard Baker.

The next words that bleated out of the scanner offered a disturbing new clue: “Rainbow to GW.” Baker knew the code. “GW” meant the George Washington Hospital, and “Rainbow,” the first lady. If Nancy Reagan was heading for the hospital, that must be because the president was headed there too. But why?

Hearing the fracas among his anxious colleagues, Shaw demanded to know what was going on. A desk assistant said sarcastically, “I think they’re shooting at your president.”

“Don’t joke,” Shaw scolded.

For a veteran newsman, he was curiously unjaded—patriotic, and respectful of authority, even. (That didn’t equal passive. As a young member of the Marine Corps in Hawaii, he’d tracked down Walter Cronkite when he’d learned the anchorman was coming to town, urgently hoping for guidance on how to get into the business.)

The assistant responded to Shaw: “I’m not joking.”

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 28, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Pas plus, Nicoderm! Merde!

from The New York Post

France limits sales of nicotine products after fewer smokers catch coronavirus

By Laura Italiano

Nicotine patch
picture alliance via Getty Images

Fearing a run on nicotine gum and patches, France has banned the online sale of the products — a move spurred by reports of a lower-than-expected number of smokers among those hospitalized with the coronavirus.

In addition to the online ban, French authorities are limiting people who purchase the smoking cessation products at pharmacies to one month’s supply only, BBC.com reported.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on April 27, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Return of The Stoics

from The Guardian

Stoicism in a time of pandemic: how Marcus Aurelius can help

by Donald Robertson

A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Photograph: DEA/G DAagli Orti/De Agostini via Getty Images

The Meditations, by a Roman emperor who died in a plague named after him, has much to say about how to face fear, pain, anxiety and loss.

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The Antonine Plague, named after him, was probably caused by a strain of the smallpox virus. It’s estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.

From AD166 to around AD180, repeated outbreaks occurred throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions being devastated, and entire towns and villages being depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was particularly badly affected, carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book, known as The Meditations, which records the moral and psychological advice he gave himself at this time. He frequently applies Stoic philosophy to the challenges of coping with pain, illness, anxiety and loss. It’s no stretch of the imagination to view The Meditations as a manual for developing precisely the mental resilience skills required to cope with a pandemic.

First of all, because Stoics believe that our true good resides in our own character and actions, they would frequently remind themselves to distinguish between what’s “up to us” and what isn’t. Modern Stoics tend to call this “the dichotomy of control” and many people find this distinction alone helpful in alleviating stress. What happens to me is never directly under my control, never completely up to me, but my own thoughts and actions are – at least the voluntary ones. The pandemic isn’t really under my control but the way I behave in response to it is.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 26, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

New York No York

Posted on April 25, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

COVID In The Nude

from DNYUZ

The Nude Selfie Is Now High Art

It has become an act of resilience in isolation, a way to seduce without touch.

Frida Kahlo’s “The Broken Column,” a self portrait. / Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Before face-touching became potentially lethal, my friend Dave had a lot of lovers. Now he makes do with nude selfies. He doesn’t even request them, he says. They appear as if by magic. “I wake up and they are just there.”

“I keep getting explicit photos from people I thought were just my friends,” says Matthew, an artist in Providence, R.I. He adds, “It’s nice to know they’re thinking of me.”

Since the pandemic began, sex has changed: It’s imagined, monogamous, Zoomed or Skyped. And nude selfies have become one symbol of resilience, a refusal to let social distancing render us sexless. Nude selfies are no longer foreplay, a whetting of a lover’s appetite, but the whole meal.

Though the debate about art versus pornography has never been settled, a case can be made that quarantine nude selfies are art. Some of us finally have time to make art, and this is the art we are making: carefully posed, cast in shadows, expertly filtered. These aren’t garish below-the-belt shots under fluorescent lighting, a half-used roll of toilet paper in the background. They are solicited or spontaneous. They are gifts to partners in separate quarantines, friends who aren’t exactly friends, unmet Hinge matches and exes. (Exes are popping up like Wack-a-Moles these days.)

“Before the quarantine, I navigated under a ‘nudes are for boyfriends’ rule,” says Zoe, a marketing assistant in Los Angeles. “Something special for someone I trust. But in times of loneliness I turn to serial dating and now that plays out via virtual connections.”

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 24, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

When You Can’t Afford Gallery Prices

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Family Video Gaming Finally

from TIME Magazine

Don’t Feel Bad If Your Kids Are Gaming More Than Ever. In Fact, Why Not Join Them?

BY SEAN GREGORY


I’ve been thinking an awful lot about the 1989 Detroit Pistons over the past few days. Rick Mahorn, the starting power forward, can’t make a goddamn layup. Neither can Dennis Rodman. Isaiah Thomas is missing too many shots. Do I have anyone on my team who can stop Michael Jordan, who over the past four games is averaging 83.5 points per game against a squad once known as “The Bad Boys” because of its nasty defensive disposition? I’m not seeing much Bad in these Boys. 

Yeah, it would probably be sorry enough if I was consumed by the actual Detroit team that last played an actual NBA game at the outset of the George H.W. Bush administration. But no, I’m talking about the video game version of that championship squad. In NBA 2K20, the popular virtual hoops game that for many fans has replaced real basketball during the coronavirus pandemic, you can play using one of many fine historic NBA squads. And currently, my 13-year-old son and I are in a heated best-of-seven series, featuring my ‘89 Pistons versus his 1991 Chicago Bulls, another NBA title team, on our PlayStation 4. He’s up three games to one.

For a middle-aged man with many adult responsibilities, stressing about Bill Laimbeer’s minutes during these scary times doesn’t seem very healthy.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Fake Planet News

from USA Today

What scientists had believed was a planet beyond our solar system has now apparently disappeared from sight, a study says, which suggests “that what was heralded as one of the first exoplanets to ever be discovered … likely never existed,” according to the University of Arizona.

The “exoplanet,” a planet outside our solar system, supposedly orbited around Fomalhaut, a star 25 light-years away.

Instead of a planet, which had been named Fomalhaut b, what astronomers likely saw was a large cloud of dust from two icy bodies that had smashed into each other. 

“These collisions are exceedingly rare, and so this is a big deal that we actually get to see one,” study lead author András Gáspár of the University of Arizona said in a statement. “We believe that we were at the right place at the right time to have witnessed such an unlikely event with the Hubble Space Telescope.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on April 21, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Rogue Waves

from The Future of Things

The Wave That Changed Science

by Ran Levi

Historical image of a possible Rouge Wave
(Credit: NOAA Photo Library)

Over the centuries many sailors described seeing huge ocean waves, monsters of the seas that towered to heights of 30 meters and more. Those Rogue Waves, as they were called, appeared suddenly and rammed into the unfortunate vessel. Scientists tended to ignore these stories. They considered them to be legends, fairy tales that sailors tell each other to pass the time on long journeys. They had good reason to doubt these stories: contemporary mathematical models predicted that the biggest possible ocean storm wave could be twelve to fifteen meters high.

But those tales, passed from one sailor to another in pubs or late at night on the ship’s bridge, told also of a massive ‘hole’ in the water, tens of meters deep. This hole was followed by a nearly-vertical wall of water – a wave so steep no ship could ‘climb’ it. According to the stories, when a ship was hit by such a wave it usually drowned within seconds.

For a long time, scientists thought their understanding of ocean waves was reasonably good. The way they saw it, the mathematical models that were developed for other kinds of waves, like sound waves and electromagnetic waves, could be applied to waves in the ocean. And why should these models not be appropriate? A wave is just a wave, after all – an interference making its way from point A to point B, energy being transported from one place to another. Based on these mathematical models, scientists believed a thirty meter may exist, but is likely to occur only once every thirty-thousand years. Thus, Rogue Waves reports were placed in the same category sea-dragon stories, Bermuda Triangle oddities, and mermaid tales.

A single wave that crashed on a tall oil-rig in the northern Atlantic Ocean shocked the foundations of these scientific models.

[ click to continue reading at The Future of Things ]

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

COVID Reads

from The Millions

On Pandemic and Literature

by Ed Simon

Less than a century after the Black Death descended into Europe and killed 75 million people—as much as 60 percent of the population (90% in some places) dead in the five years after 1347—an anonymous Alsatian engraver with the fantastic appellation of “Master of the Playing Cards” saw fit to depict St. Sebastian: the patron saint of plague victims. Making his name, literally, from the series of playing cards he produced at the moment when the pastime first became popular in Germany, the engraver decorated his suits with bears and wolves, lions and birds, flowers and woodwoses. The Master of Playing Cards’s largest engraving, however, was the aforementioned depiction of the unfortunate third-century martyr who suffered by order of the Emperor Diocletian. A violent image, but even several generations after the worst of the Black Death, and Sebastian still resonated with the populace, who remembered that “To many Europeans, the pestilence seemed to be the punishment of a wrathful Creator,” as John Kelly notes in The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of all Time.

The cult of Sebastian had grown in the years between the Black Death and the engraving, and during that interim the ancient martyr had become associated with plague victims. His suffering reminded people of their own lot—the sense that more hardship was inevitable, that the appearance of purpled buboes looked like arrows pulled from Sebastian’s eviscerated flesh after his attempted execution, and most of all the indiscrimination of which portion of bruised skin would be arrow-pierced seeming as random as who should die from plague. Produced roughly around 1440, when any direct memory of the greatest bubonic plague had long-since passed (even while smaller reoccurrences occurred for centuries), the Master of the Playing Cards presents a serene Sebastian, tied to a short tree while four archers pummel him with said arrows. Unlike more popular depictions of the saint, such as Andrea Mantegna’s painting made only four decades later, or El Grecoand Peter Paul Reubens’s explicitly lithe and beautiful Sebastians made in respectively the 16th and 17th centuries, the engraver gives us a calm, almost bemused, martyr. He has an accepting smile on his face. Two arrows protrude from his puckered flesh. More are clearly coming.

[ click to continue reading at MM ]

Posted on April 19, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Don’t Mess

Posted on April 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Anal Contact Tracing

from The Mirror

Smart toilet recognises users by their ‘anal print’ and can detect early signs of cancer

Scientists say the smart toilet could be useful to individuals who are predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure

The smart toilet

Going to the loo may never be the same again thanks to scientists who claim to have invented a device that can be fitted on toilets to detect signs of various diseases in stool and urine.

The gadget, which fits inside the bowl, uses cameras, test strips and motion sensing technology to analyse the deposits and sends the data to a secure cloud server.

The researchers said their so-called “smart toilet” technology could be useful to individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure. 

Dr Sanjiv Gambhir, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford University ‘s School of Medicine in the US, and senior author on the study, said: “Our concept dates back well over 15 years.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Mirth, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Caveman Make String

from artnet

Archaeologists Just Discovered That Neanderthals Made String 50,000 Years Ago, Suggesting They Were Waaay Smarter Than We Thought

The researchers say that Neanderthals “really weren’t very different from us.”

Modern cordage made of grass fibers. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hardy.
Modern cordage made of grass fibers. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hardy.

Archaeologists have unearthed more evidence that Neanderthals were smarter than we previously believed.

According to newly found materials, our human brethren were making the world’s first string 50,000 years ago. The oldest-known cord fragments prior to this discovery were found in Israel, and were made some 19,000 years ago.

The find comes from an archaeological site called Abri du Maras in southeastern France, where Neanderthals lived between 90,000 and 42,000 years ago.

“The idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans is becoming increasingly untenable,” researchers say in an article documenting their finds published in Scientific Reports.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on April 16, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

COVID Awareness

from DNYUZ

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

Last week Angela Missoni took a walk in the garden of her house in Sumirago, a snug town in Italy about an hour northwest of Milan. After a month in isolation, a difficult morning on Zoom and a steady drumbeat of bad tidings for business, she needed some air.

“You can imagine the kind of board meetings we have been having,” said Ms. Missoni, the creative director of a label founded by her parents, Ottavio and Rosita, in 1953. “It has been kind of intense.”

Ms. Missoni is a charismatic woman with an easy smile, a mane of dark curls and a disarming earth mother air. Yet she is also a hardheaded businesswoman, one who has driven the global growth of her family enterprise.

She is not, in other words, a woo-woo.

And yet when, on her walk in the garden, she spotted a four-leaf clover in the grass, she was struck by a premonition, she said. Despite the gloom, the grim economic forecast, the generalized terrors harassing a world consumed by coronavirus, all, she felt, would be well.

“To have found one right after this meeting, I suddenly thought, ‘OK, that’s a very good sign,’” Ms. Missoni, 62, said by phone. “You know, as soon as you smile, already your whole body is benefiting from your state of mind.”

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 15, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Tubular Bells

Posted on April 14, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

The F-word Re-discovered

from The Daily Mail

World’s earliest record of the F-word is discovered in manuscript written by bored Scottish student in 1568 locked away in the vault of the National Library of Scotland

  • Earliest written use of the F-word dates back to a 500-year-old manuscript
  • Uni student wrote the manuscript as plague locked down his Edinburgh home   
  • It was shown from the National Library of Scotland for a BBC documentary 

By LUKE MAY

The world’s earliest recorded use of the F-word lies in a Scottish manuscript penned by a bored student who was in lockdown due to the plague.

A documentary airing on Tuesday will show off the Bannatyne Manuscript, which dates back to 1568 and is kept under lock and key in the National Library of Scotland. 

Scotland – Contains Strong Language will see singer Cora Bissett take a tour of her country and find out more about Scotland’s relationship with swearing. 

[ click to continue reading at Daily Mail ]

Posted on April 13, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Happy Easter

via GIPHY

Posted on April 12, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Los Angeles, Mirth, Weirdness | | No Comments »

H-O-R-S-E

from MarketWatch

NBA set to televise H-O-R-S-E competition with league stars on ESPN

The NBA stopped play on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic

By Weston Blasi

The NBA is nearing a deal with ESPN DIS, +3.39% to televise a H-O-R-S-E competition, which would include current NBA stars Chris Paul, Trae Young, Zach LaVine, and Mike Conley.

The game will also include retired players Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce, as well as current WNBA star Allie Quigley and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings.

The shot-for-shot game involves one player making a basket — often a trick shot — and his opponent having to make the same shot. If the second player misses it, he gets a letter. When he misses five shots — enough to spell out H-O-R-S-E — he loses.

The NBA hosted a H-O-R-S-E competition as part of its All-Star Weekend in 2009 and 2010. It struggled to gain traction and was canceled after only two years. The NBA hosts events such as the dunk contest and 3-point-shootout during its All-Star Weekend.

[ click to continue reading at MarketWatch ]

Posted on April 11, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Back To Our Primal Selves

from AP

The howling: Americans let it out from depths of pandemic

By DAVID ZALUBOWSKI and JAMES ANDERSON

DENVER (AP) — It starts with a few people letting loose with some tentative yelps. Then neighbors emerge from their homes and join, forming a roiling chorus of howls and screams that pierces the twilight to end another day’s monotonous forced isolation.

From California to Colorado to Georgia and upstate New York, Americans are taking a moment each night at 8 p.m. to howl in a quickly spreading ritual that has become a wrenching response of a society cut off from one another by the coronavirus pandemic.

They howl to thank the nation’s health care workers and first responders for their selfless sacrifices, much like the balcony applause and singing in Italy and Spain. Others do it to reduce their pain, isolation and frustration. Some have other reasons, such as to show support for the homeless.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on April 10, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Hello, Everest

from FORBES

Pollution Recedes Amid Lockdown, And A View Of The Himalayas Emerges For The First Time In 30 Years

by Marley Coyne

India, Kashmir, Aerial View Of The Himalayas.
India, Kashmir, Aerial View Of The Himalayas. (Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via … [+] UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Topline: Residents in north India’s Punjab—where a nationwide coronavirus lockdown has curtailed daily activity—shared a rare look at the snow peaks of the Himalayas, a view that has for decades been obscured by the state’s heavy air pollution. 

  • India, with 1.3 billion residents, is consistently rated as one of the worst polluted countries in the world, according to IQAir, but the coronavirus lockdown has eased the problem’s severity.  
  • Accompanying a significant dip in automobile and flight traffic, at least 85 Indian cities had cleaner air, one study reported, following the first week of the March 25 lockdown.
  • In Jalandhar, Punjab, air quality received a “good” rating 16 out of 17 days post-lockdown—a feat not achieved even once during the same period last year.
  • “If the air cleans up like this, forget mountain ranges, we may even see god soon,” one Twitter user joked.
  • The Himalayan mountain range is the world’s highest and includes Mount Everest.

[ click to continue reading at FORBES ]

Posted on April 9, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Night Music

from Brooklyn Vegan

32 videos of Hal Willner’s ’80s series ‘Night Music’ that display his gift for weird, amazing collaborations

By Bill Pearis

We lost the great Hal Willner yesterday. He was a gifted producer whose greatest skill may have been his ability to bring together disparate talents that you might not think would fit together but turned out to be truly inspired. One of the places where you can really see that in action was Night Music, a musical offshoot of Saturday Night Live that lasted two weird wonderful seasons: 1988-1989 as NBC’s Sunday Night on late night on Sundays and hosted by Jools Holland; and then became a syndicated series in 1989-1990 with bandleader David Sanborn taking over hosting duties as well.” Both seasons were presented by Michelob beer who may have been hoping for a different kind of show.

In both seasons the idea was the same: bring together a bunch of great artists — some very famous, some obscure — from all over the musical spectrum and see what happens. Musicians would get their own moment in the spotlight, but every episode ended with a collective jam, which resulted in some things you’d never believe actually happened if there wasn’t video of it, like country icon Conway Twitty doing a song with The Residents. “Beyond putting on music that we love,” Willner told SPIN at the time, “I feel an obligation to expose people to other things. I mean, watching MTV, they don’t tell you about Ornette Coleman…I’m getting back to a musical education with this show. In a weird way, I’m searching for that by having all worlds meet. Having John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull and Aaron Neville in the same hour. Just to have all those emotions make sense together.”

John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull and Aaron Neville was an actual episode, by the way. Sonic Youth made their national television debut on Night Music — on an episode that also featured Diamanda Galas, the Indigo GirlsDaniel Lanois and Evan Lurie and Marc Ribot (covering The Stooges) — and so did Pixies who were on a S2 episode that also featured Sun Ra, singer-songwriter Syd Straw and dance music producer Arthur Baker.

[ click to continue reading at Brooklyn Vegan ]

Posted on April 8, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

John Prine Gone – Very Sad

from Rolling Stone

John Prine, One of America’s Greatest Songwriters, Dead at 73

Grammy-winning singer who combined literary genius with a common touch succumbs to coronavirus complications

By STEPHEN L. BETTS & PATRICK DOYLE

John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday working people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical CenterHe was 73. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone.

Related: 25 Essential Songs

Prine, who left behind an extraordinary body of folk-country classics, was hospitalized last month after the sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and was placed in intensive care for 13 days. Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona, announced on March 17th that she had tested positive for the virus after they had returned from a European tour.

As a songwriter, Prine was admired by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and others, known for his ability to mine seemingly ordinary experiences  — he wrote many of his classics as a mailman in Maywood, Illinois — for revelatory songs that covered the full spectrum of the human experience. There’s “Hello in There,” about the devastating loneliness of an elderly couple; “Sam Stone,” a portrait of a drug-addicted Vietnam soldier suffering from PTSD; and “Paradise,” an ode to his parents’ strip-mined hometown of Paradise, Kentucky, which became an environmental anthem. Prine tackled these subjects with empathy and humor, with an eye for “the in-between spaces,” the moments people don’t talk about, he told Rolling Stone in 2017.  “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism,” Dylan said in 2009. “Midwestern mind-trips to the nth degree.”

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on April 7, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Frey with 50 Cent and Eli Roth

from Instagram

[ click to join me on Instagram ]

Posted on April 6, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Rodeo Prince

from The New York Times

Richard Prince: This Ain’t No Retrospective, It’s a Rodeo

A new book looks at the figure of the American cowboy through the outlaw lens of Mr. Prince, an artist known for his sly borrowings.

By Randy Kennedy

A 2012 inkjet and acrylic painting, “Untitled (Cowboy),” by Richard Prince, based on a cover of a pulp-fiction western novel.Credit…via Fulton Ryder

Photography and the mythos of the American cowboy have been lassoed together almost from birth. Even when they weren’t working hand in hand, they were often in close company. The most famous showdown in the Old West, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, took place not at the corral but six doors down in front of the photography studio of Camillus Fly. He was too busy ducking to take a picture but ran out with a Henry rifle as the shots died away and disarmed Billy Clanton, one of the outlaws in a gang called — yes — the Cowboys.

“Richard Prince: Cowboy,” a lavish, offbeat new book, just published by Prestel, uses photography to take a long look at the pervasive, at times pernicious, influence of the cowboy on movies, television, books, advertising and politics. The book is nominally devoted to the work of Mr. Prince, who rose to fame in the 1980s through his coy appropriation of the majestic cowboy pictures from Marlboro magazine ads. But as compiled and edited by the collector and curator Robert Rubin, the assemblage of art, ephemera and found imagery ends up feeling more like a ripsnorting syllabus for an American studies class that might have been team-taught by Sam Peckinpah and Margaret Mead.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 5, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Bill Withers Gone

from PASTE

Legendary Soul Singer Bill Withers Dead at 81

By Lizzie Manno

Legendary soul singer/songwriter Bill Withers died on Monday (March 30) due to heart complications, per a statement provided to the Associated Press. He was best known for hits like “Lean On Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me,” “Lovely Day” and more. Withers was a three-time Grammy winner and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” his family wrote in a statement. “A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other. As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”

Withers was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia in 1938 and was the youngest of six children. He joined the Navy at age 17, spending nine years there, and later moved to Los Angeles after he was discharged. After signing a record contract, he released his first album, Just As I Am, in 1971, which contained one of his greatest songs—“Ain’t No Sunshine”—and was produced by another soul giant, Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. & the M.G.’s). A year later, he released his second album, Still Bill, which contained lasting hits like “Lean On Me” and “Use Me” and became his highest charting album, reaching number four on the Billboard 200. Withers continued to record throughout the 1970s, but by the mid-1980s, he stepped away from music.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on April 4, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Daddy @ 89

from The Daily Mail

‘When it comes to having kids, I don’t see any difference between being 89 and 29’: Bernie Ecclestone tells of delight at being a father again with wife Fabiana Flosi, 44, just three months short of his 90th birthday

By KATIE WESTON & JAMES FIELDING

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed his delight at becoming a father for the fourth time at the age of 89, with his 44-year-old wife Fabiana Flosi (couple pictured together)

The pair, who tied the knot in 2012, are at their farm in Brazil, where Flosi is from.

Ecclestone said: ‘We’re fine… We’re in Brazil at the moment so we have to wait a little while and see whether this little one is going to happen in Brazil or in England.’

The billionaire has three grown-up daughters, Deborah, Tamara, and Petra, as well as grandchildren, from two previous marriages.

‘Everybody is very pleased. They’re all happy,’ he said of the family’s response.

Asked what kind of father he was going to be, he said: ‘We don’t know, probably better than before, probably a bit more relaxed!’

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on April 3, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Hockney’s COVID Respite

from BBC

David Hockney shares exclusive art from Normandy, as ‘a respite from the news’

By Will Gompertz

David Hockney is in lockdown at his house in Normandy with his dog Ruby and two of his long-standing assistants, JP and Jonathan. 

He is in the garden most days, drawing the spring awakening on his iPad. In a BBC exclusive, he is sharing 10 of his most recent images (including one animation), nine of which have never been published before, for us all to enjoy at this difficult time, along with his thoughts on the role of art in life.

The artist previously visited Normandy in the autumn of 2018 following the installation of his stained-glass window in Westminster Abbey. He thought it would be a good place to draw and paint the arrival of spring, something he’d done around a decade earlier in East Yorkshire. Those pictures, paintings, and films were the basis for a successful exhibition in 2012 at the Royal Academy in London.

He was attracted to Normandy because it offered a broader range of blossoms, with apple, cherry, pear and plum trees, as well as the hawthorn and blackthorn he had painted before.

“We found this house with a large garden that was cheaper than anything in Sussex”, he wrote in a letter to me. They bought it, renovated it and built a small studio; and have been living there since early March.

“I began drawing the winter trees on a new iPad,” he said. “Then this virus started…

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on April 2, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

M*A*S*H @ 50

from OBSERVER

50 Years Later, Robert Altman’s ‘MASH’ Is Still Unforgettable

By Brian Fairbanks

You remember the 4077th? Hawkeye, Radar, Trapper John, Henry and Hot Lips?

These days, mentioning MASH gets you an almost uniform response: “Binged it on Netflix.” Yet it’s the movie, and not the long-running TV series that it spawned, that’s arguably more culturally significant. MASH was arguably the earliest “indie” film made inside the studio system, a piece of entertainment still side-splittingly funny, despite its dated perspective. Altman’s movie was a blockbuster back when those mattered, a critical smash back when that meant something, too, and changed the culture.

However, watching it in 2020, over 50 years after its wide release, it’s at best a black comedy about battle-scarred machismo or, at worst, patently offensive. Let’s dive into what made this film terrific, problematic and unforgettable.

[ click to continue reading at OBSERVER ]

Posted on April 1, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Mirth | | No Comments »