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747 Gone

from The New York Times

The 747 Had a Great Run. But Farewell Doesn’t Mean the End.

By

MARANA, Ariz. — There may be no airliner as recognizable as the Boeing 747, the world’s first jumbo jet, with its iconic hump of an upper deck. For aviation fans, the introduction of the “Queen of the Skies” was a triumph of engineering and grace: unprecedented size and speed with spiral-staircase international glamour.

But the airline business has changed, and the giant plane has become more expensive to operate. A couple of weeks ago, the final 747 flight by any commercial United States airline took to the sky.

Like so many others before it, the plane was heading to the Southwest to retire.

A passer-by at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport might have noticed something unusual as Boeing 747 No. 6314 pushed back from the gate for the last time. Onlookers in the terminal waved farewell as the plane, operated by Delta Air Lines, taxied out to the runway. Undeterred by the chilly weather, even members of the ground crew pulled out their phones to memorialize this flight in photos.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Editor

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Dad Rap

from The Wall Street Journal

Hip-Hop’s Generation Gap: ‘Emo’ vs. ‘Dad’ Rap

As the music genre has become a commercial juggernaut, some worry about a cultural divide between younger and older artists

By Neil Shah

Rap has become the most-consumed music in America, according to industry data, but with its growth comes a new concern: a widening generation gap.

Just as rock ‘n‘ roll splintered in the 1970s when punk arrived, a beef between some young hip-hop artists and “dad rappers” is dividing fans. Some music insiders worry that the schism will hurt the unity of the hip-hop community when its music is at its cultural and commercial peak by splitting fans into opposing camps.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Editor

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Dolores O’Riordan Gone

from The New Yorker

The Ferocious, Sublime Dolores O’Riordan, of the Cranberries

By Amanda Petrusich

The Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan, who fronted the alt-rock band the Cranberries since 1989, died on Monday, at the age of forty-six. O’Riordan was managing several health issues at the time of her death—she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015 and had been suffering from back pain, which resulted in the cancellation of a Cranberries reunion tour last year. Her body was found in a hotel on Park Lane, in central London; her death was described as sudden and unexplained.

O’Riordan was born in Ballybricken, in County Limerick, in 1971. She was the youngest of seven children and just eighteen when she joined the Cranberries. Her folks were strict: as a teen-ager, she wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or buy her own clothes. In an interview with the Irish Times, she recalled how the guitarist Noel Hogan brought her a pair of Doc Martens to wear for the band’s first photo shoot. “They were too big for me, but I put them on anyway,” she said. “Suddenly I looked like an indie girl.”

Like many people, the first time I heard her sing was on “Linger,” an early single that ended up in fairly heavy rotation on MTV in 1993. The black-and-white video, directed by Melodie McDaniel, was based loosely on Jean-Luc Godard’s “Alphaville,” a film that considers the potency of desire. It’s a hazy, sentimental song about realizing that you’re on the bummer end of a lopsided relationship. “You know I’m such a fool for you,” O’Riordan sings. She’s asking, in a way, for mercy—a final show of kindness: “You’ve got me wrapped around your finger / Do you have to let it linger?” I wasn’t old enough to understand the particular humiliation of being duped and strung along by someone you loved and trusted, but I nonetheless recognized the deep agony and confusion in her voice when she asked, “Why were you holding her hand?”

Still, it wasn’t until “Zombie,” the first single from the band’s second album, “No Need to Argue,” that the sublime recklessness of O’Riordan’s voice became fully evident. By then, the Cranberries were the most successful Irish rock band since U2. Most of the other rock singers I admired at the time (Kim Gordon, of Sonic Youth; Kim and Kelley Deal, of the Breeders; Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill) sounded plainly and hopelessly cool—disaffected, vaguely antagonistic, and aloof. O’Riordan sounded like a maniac. “Zombie” was written as a memorial for two children—the twelve-year-old Jonathan Ball and the three-year-old Tim Parry—who were killed in an I.R.A. street bombing, in Warrington, England, in 1993 (the explosives were hidden in garbage cans). She goes feral on the chorus: “Zombie-ie-ie-ie-oh-oh-oh-oh!” It’s all terrifically guttural—ugly, wild, and paralyzing. For an American kid, her round Irish accent made the word seem even stranger, as if she were conjuring something otherworldly, only to vanquish it.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Editor

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Stick History

from Nautilus

The Stick Is an Unsung Hero of Human Evolution

Stone’s silent sister in the archaeological record.

BY ALEXANDER LANGLANDS

In April 1997, at the snooker world championship held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, Ronnie O’Sullivan stepped up to the table to play a frame in what was expected to be a routine victory in his first-round match against Mick Price. What happened in the next 5 minutes and 20 seconds sent shock waves through the world of snooker and ripples of respect through the wider world of professional sport. To the uninitiated, there is a sequence of 36 balls that must be potted in order to achieve the highest score possible in a frame: 147—what aficionados call a “maximum break.” Up until 1997, this had been achieved in official competition snooker on a handful of occasions, in a sport that had effectively turned professional in the late 1960s. It was only a matter of time before the gifted O’Sullivan scored his first competition 147, but it was the manner in which he did it that created such a stir. As he glided around the table he played with a pace and confidence that belied his 21 years. A man at one with the stick in his hands and in a trancelike engagement with his art, he was demonstrably thinking four or five shots ahead and, in playing with such fluidity of movement, O’Sullivan had found a new zone within which the game could be played.

It may seem crude, but to put the achievement into context, it can be compared on pure financial terms with other sports. For a frame that lasted a mere 320 seconds, O’Sullivan was awarded bonus prize money of £165,000. Few can brag that they’ve ever earned £515.63 per second for the work they do—especially at such a tender age. At its most basic, he makes his money with a length of polished wood and a lump of chalk. For many people, earnings aside, O’Sullivan’s feat ranks among the very best sporting achievements in the world. But for me, it’s a celebration of mankind’s perfection at stick usage: a poetically beautiful combination of craft, genius, nerve, and swagger.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Editor

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The First Animations

from Nautilus

Early Humans Made Animated Art

How Paleolithic artists used fire to set the world’s oldest art in motion.

BY ZACH ZORICHILLUSTRATION BY MIKO MACIASZEK

Stone steps descended into the ground, and I walked down them slowly as if I were entering a dark movie theater, careful not to stumble and disrupt the silence. Once my eyes adjusted to the faint light at the foot of the stairs, I saw that I was standing in the open chamber of a cave.

Where the limestone wall arched into the ceiling was a line of paintings and drawings of animals running deeper into the cave. The closest image resembled a bison, with elongated horns and U-shaped markings on its side. The bison followed several horses painted solid black like silhouettes; above them was an earthy-red horse with a black head and mane. In front of that was a very large bison head that was completely out of scale with respect to the other images.

It was the summer of 1995, and in the dim glow, I gazed at the ghostly parade just as my ancestors did roughly 21,000 years ago. Radiocarbon dates from Lascaux cave suggest the art is from that period, a time when wooly mammoths still roamed across Europe and people survived by hunting them and other large game. I stood in silence as I tried to decode the work of the ancient people who had come here to express something of their world.

When Lascaux cave was discovered in 1940, more than 100 small stone lamps that once burned grease from rendered animal fat were found throughout its chambers. Unfortunately, no one recorded where the lamps had been placed in the cave. At the time, archeologists did not consider how the brightness and the location of lights altered how the paintings would have been viewed. In general, archeologists have paid considerably less attention to how the use of fire for light affected the development of our species, compared to the use of fire for warmth and cooking. But now in Lascaux and other caves across the region, that’s changing.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Editor

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Anderson .Paak

Posted on January 7, 2018 by Editor

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The Deadliest Car In History

from Inside Hook

THE DEADLIEST RACE CAR IN HISTORY HAD LOOKS THAT COULD KILL, TOO

Let’s hope this one handles better than the original

BY EVAN BLEIER

The Deadliest Race Car in History Had Looks That Could Kill, Too

At the 1955 edition of Le Mans, a ‘53 Austin-Healey 100 was at the center of a horrific crash that left 85 people dead and dozens more maimed and injured. The Austin-Healey that RM Sotheby’s is putting up for auction next month in Arizona is not that car, which holds the ignonimous title of being the world’s deadliest.

But it is modeled after it.

Manufactured in February of 1956 and one of only 640 factory-built Healey 100 Ms ever made, the roadster is built to the specifications of the 100s that were first raced successfully — and safely — at Le Mans in 1953.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on January 6, 2018 by Editor

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Scratch Chocolate

Posted on January 5, 2018 by Editor

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Freddie’s Bash

from INTERVIEW

Freddie Mercury’s Saturday Night in Sodom

a night of debauchery

In the colossal Imperial Ballroom inside the Fairmont New Orleans, Freddie Mercury—expert partier who lived by the mantra “excess all areas”—overwhelmed 400 guests at the launch of Queen’s fourth album, Jazz. This party had it all: “voluptuous strippers who smoked cigarettes with their vaginas, a dozen black-faced minstrels, dwarfs, snake charmers, and several bosomy blondes who stunned party revelers by peeling off their flimsy costumes to reveal that they were, in fact, well-endowed men,” it was described in Pamela Des Barres’s Rock Bottom: Dark Moments in Music Babylon.

It was Halloween 1978. The ballroom was outfitted with 50 dead trees rented especially for the occasion, which made it look like “a skeletal forest. It had a kind of witchcraft theme,” said EMI’s Bob Hart. Bourbon Street’s biggest freaks and eccentrics were hired to entertain, leaving other bars and clubs forced to close for the night.

 [ click to read at INTERVIEW ]

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Editor

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1968 Predictions on 2018

from The New Yorker

The 1968 Book That Tried to Predict the World of 2018

By Paul Collins

For every amusingly wrong prediction in “Toward the Year 2018,” a speculative book from 1968, there’s one unnervingly close to the mark. / Illustration by Robert Beatty

If you wanted to hear the future in late May, 1968, you might have gone to Abbey Road to hear the Beatles record a new song of John Lennon’s—something called “Revolution.” Or you could have gone to the decidedly less fab midtown Hilton in Manhattan, where a thousand “leaders and future leaders,” ranging from the economist John Kenneth Galbraith to the peace activist Arthur Waskow, were invited to a conference by the Foreign Policy Association. For its fiftieth anniversary, the F.P.A. scheduled a three-day gathering of experts, asking them to gaze fifty years ahead. An accompanying book shared the conference’s far-off title: “Toward the Year 2018.”

The timing was not auspicious. In America, cities were still cleaning up from riots after Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s assassination, in April, and protests were brewing for that summer’s Democratic National Convention. But perhaps the future was the only place left to escape from the present: more than eight hundred attendees arrived at the Hilton. “They met in the grand ballroom,” the reporter Edwin Yoder wrote at the time, “which is not so much futuristic as like a dimly remembered version of the 1920s small-town grand movie house.”

Invitees were carefully split by the F.P.A. between over-thirty-fives and under-thirty-fives—but, less carefully, they didn’t pick any principal speakers from the under-thirty-fives. As their elders mused on a future of plastics and plasma jets, without mention of Vietnam and violence in the streets, there was muttering among the younger attendees. Representatives from Students for a Democratic Society demanded time at the mike and circulated a letter questioning whether the conference was for “discussion or brain washing.” Waskow, today the rabbi of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, was an S.D.S. alumnus attending the conference out of a sincere interest in the future—but he was skeptical of futurism. By 1968, he’d already been working for more than a decade on a never-finished epistolary sci-fi novel, “Notes from 1999.” “But,” Waskow explains, “I was interested in changing the world—not trying to predict the future, but to create the future.”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Editor

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Ice Bowl 50

from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Ice Bowl, 50 years later: An oral history of the Packers-Cowboys 1967 NFL Championship Game

ON DEC. 31, 1967, THE PACKERS EDGED THE COWBOYS, 21-17, IN A GAME FOR THE AGES. HERE’S THE STORY OF THE ICE BOWL AS TOLD BY THOSE WHO PLAYED IN IT AND WITNESSED IT.

by Gary D’Amato

It would have been a great game if it had been played on a sweltering September afternoon or on a crisp autumn day in November or even indoors, if there were domed football stadiums in 1967.

That year, the NFL Championship Game pitted Vince Lombardi’s proud but aging Green Bay Packers, seeking an unprecedented third consecutive title, against Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys, an ascending team out for revenge after losing narrowly to the Packers in the ’66 championship game.

Eight Packers and four Cowboys who took the field that day would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both coaches would be enshrined, too. The Packers had guile and experience and a field general named Bart Starr. The Cowboys had youth and superior team speed and their “Doomsday Defense.”

Yes, it would have been a great game on any day, in any kind of weather.

It would be played, though, on New Year’s Eve day in Green Bay, in the kind of weather that tested the limits of what a man could endure.

The official low temperature at Austin Straubel Airport that day was 17 below zero. With Arctic winds whipping out of the northwest, the wind chill dipped to 50 below at Lambeau Field, its turf frozen solid and topped by a layer of ice, so that players slipped and slid and fell on what felt like jagged concrete.

The game would be decided in the closing seconds, at the conclusion of a drive that bordered on the mystical, with Starr plunging into the end zone to put a symbolic exclamation mark on the Lombardi era.

Fifty years ago Sunday, on Dec. 31, 1967, the Packers edged the Cowboys, 21-17, in a game for the ages.

The Ice Bowl.

It was and remains the coldest game in NFL history. It is among the most memorable games in league annals because of the wretched conditions, what was at stake and the dramatic way it ended.

[ click to continue reading at MJS ]

Posted on December 31, 2017 by Editor

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Mass Grave Re-writes History

from Smithsonian Magazine

This Mass Grave Discovery Could Alter Roman History

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that a mass grave discovered in the north of England is a gladiator cemetery. But the most compelling clue is an identical site in Turkey, almost 2,000 miles away.

[ click to continue reading at Smithsonian ]

Posted on December 30, 2017 by Editor

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Miraicraft

from WIRED

HOW A DORM ROOM MINECRAFT SCAM BROUGHT DOWN THE INTERNET

by 

THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.

It was a hard story to miss last year: In France last September, the telecom provider OVH was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack a hundred times larger than most of its kind. Then, on a Friday afternoon in October 2016, the internet slowed or stopped for nearly the entire eastern United States, as the tech company Dyn, a key part of the internet’s backbone, came under a crippling assault.

As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls. The truth, as made clear in that Alaskan courtroom Friday—and unsealed by the Justice Department on Wednesday—was even stranger: The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans. All three—Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, respectively—admitted their role in creating and launching Mirai into the world.

Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Editor

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Blood Sport for Bones

from The LA Times

Archaeology as blood sport: How the discovery of an ancient mastodon ignited debate over humans’ arrival in North America

By THOMAS CURWEN

“Oh my God,” Richard Cerutti said to himself. He bent down to pick up a sharp, splintered bone fragment. Its thickness and weight told him that it belonged to an animal, a very big animal. His mind started to race.

He was standing at the foot of a slope being groomed by Caltrans for a road-widening project through the Sweetwater Valley near National City.

Earthmoving equipment had already uncovered other fossils from elsewhere on the site, mostly rodents, birds and lizards. But this bone was from no ordinary animal. The operator wanted to keep digging, but Cerutti raised a fist to stop him. He felt a tightening knot of anger.

The contractors had worked over the weekend without contacting him, and he could see the damage they had done. He sprinted up the slope to a construction trailer and picked up a telephone.

“Tom,” he said. “I think I have a mammoth out here on State Route 54. Can you send some help?”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on December 24, 2017 by Editor

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Sharon Springs

from Logo

Sharon Springs, NY: The Gayest Little Town You’ve Never Heard Of

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community.”

I grew up in the rural, rolling farmland of Upstate New York. Occasionally—often on the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or nearby Glimmerglass Lake—we would pass through Sharon Springs, a town memorable solely for the distinctly pungent smell that emanated from its natural sulphur springs.It was because of these springs and their healing properties that Sharon Springs had grown into a popular summer spa destination in the 19th century, attracting thousands of visitors annually including members of the Vanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde, who lectured at one of its hotels in 1882. By the 1970s, though, Sharon Springs had fallen firmly into decline and seemed destined to become a footnote in Upstate New York’s history.Twenty years later, however, the village would embark on a renaissance thanks to Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, a couple who were passing through from New York City, located approximately 200 miles away.

“My husband and I saw an old farmhouse outside the the village and thought, this is the coolest thing we’ve ever seen,” recalls Plummer, the mayor of Sharon Springs. And so they bought the house, as well as several other properties, including the then-rundown historic American Hotel that they rehabilitated and run today. Beyond that, the two men have been pivotal in attracting others to join in with their enthusiasm for the village of 550 people.

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community, we are the ones who came in here and started to improve things,” continues Plummer, as we sat together in the cozy lobby of his hotel. As if on cue, Lance and Anthony, another gay couple from NYC, appear. “These guys came in one Friday about six months ago, and on Sunday saw a realtor and, like, three days later they put an offer on a house.”

[ click to continue reading at Logo ]

Posted on December 22, 2017 by Editor

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Mimi O’Donnell on Philip Seymour Hoffman

from Vogue

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction

philip-seymour-hoffmanThe exceptional leading man Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death in 2014 dealt a heartbreaking blow to American cultural life. Photographed by Anton Corbijn, 2012

The first time I met Phil, there was instant chemistry between us. It was the spring of 1999, and he was interviewing me to be the costume designer for a play he was directing—his first—for the Labyrinth Theater Company, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. Even though I’d spent the five years since moving to New York designing costumes for Off-Broadway plays and had just been hired by Saturday Night Live, I was nervous, because I was in awe of his talent. I’d seen him in Boogie Nightsand Happiness, and he blew me out of the water with his willingness to make himself so vulnerable and to play fucked-up characters with such honesty and heart.

I remember walking into the interview and anxiously handing Phil my résumé. He studied it for a few moments, then looked up at me and, with complete sincerity and admiration, said, “You have more credits than I do.” I felt myself relax. He wanted to put me at ease and let me know that we would be working together as equals. After the meeting, I called my sister on one of those hilariously giant cell phones of the time, and after I had raved about Phil, she announced, “You’re going to marry him.”

Working with Phil felt seamless—our instincts were so similar, and we always seemed to be in sync. Though there was clearly a personal attraction, both of us were involved with other people, so we fell in love artistically first. Over the next two years, we continued to work together—I designed the costumes for everything he directed—and, along the way, I was invited to become a company member of Labyrinth, of which Phil was the artistic director. As an ensemble, we produced Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, which put us on the map. Then, seven years to the day since I’d moved to the city, 9/11 happened. It was disorienting to be finding our place as the world seemed to be collapsing around us.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Editor

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U2 Not Dead

from RealClearLife

Rock’n’Roll Won’t Die, No Matter What U2 Says

The music industry as we knew is gone, but rock will survive.

By Tim Sommer

Very recently, I saw some respectable men in their late fifties prancing around on TV. They were sitting shiva for rock’n’roll.

I generally give U2 the benefit of the doubt –they’ve worked hard, they energetically support decent causes, and their musical heart is rooted in the post-punk of my youth—but here they were on Saturday Night Live, shouting into bullhorns and cranking out mediocre versions of early ‘90s KROQ grunge riffs and generally sounding like they were doing a hazy imitation of Stone Temple Pilots. Also, in 1998 The International Court at The Hague determined that the Mekons would be the very last band ever allowed to use the word “rock’n’roll” in the chorus of a song.

U2 were posturing themselves as saviors of their genre because this is what rich old white rockers do. In reality, they are actually saying, “It’s already dead and we are the only survivors, so we better bring in some EDM producers, because, you know, that’s what the kids like now, and my GOD, we wanna be relevant!” They also spit out a bunch of fuzzy and meaningless slogans – “Put your hands in the air/Hold up the sky/Could be too late, but we still gotta try” – boy, that is sure going to get a lot of people to turn out in next year’s midterm elections! And I have little doubt that “Will you be our sanctuary Refu-Jesus?” will lead to a productive dialogue between England and the European England about how to handle the looming Ireland/Northern Ireland border crisis.

First of all, rock is most certainly not dead. Truly. I think that’s an ugly myth created by people who are unable to distinguish music from the music industry. Music is fireworks, pearly supernovas in migraine fugue rainbow colors that turn a deep blue 10 p.m. sky the shade of summertime 4:44 a.m. purple; music pulls oohs and aaaahs unconsciously out of the most cynical, it massages old memories and provides mnemonics for new ones, it screams when it whispers and it whispers when it screams. And rock’n’roll is something intensely social and deeply personal, it is the sound of America’s disenfranchised made electric, and it is the reason you got on that train that took you away from your low, leafy suburb and into the spires of the city; and in that city (and your city could just be a college town, a city is any place of escape and social refuge!), you found friends because of rock’n’roll: rock’n’roll made you welcome in the Kingdom of Outsiders. Deep down, a part of you never left that place.

The music industry as we knew it died. Dead. Gone. But the music did not die. This is the profound mistake so many people make; they have comingled the artform and the economics that were a part of that art form. But the music industry is an ugly old Fireworks shack on a two-lane blacktop on the sun-burnt wrong side of a South Carolina beach town, waiting to be blown over by some September storm, washed out to the marshes. Even if the shack is destroyed, there’s still a Fourth of July.

[ click to continue reading at RealClearLife ]

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Editor

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Damien Freed

from The New Yorker

The False Narrative of Damien Hirst’s Rise and Fall

By Felix Salmon

Photograph by Francesco Guidicini / The Sunday Times / News Syndication / Redux

The artist Damien Hirst is fundamentally a maker of luxury goods, and that is why he confounds the expectations of art-world cynics and romantics alike.

The rise and fall of Damien Hirst is an oft-told tale of hubris and nemesis. An art-world superstar in the nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, Hirst made white-hot works—the most infamous of which involved animals immersed in formaldehyde—whose prices only ever went up. He got rich, his galleries got rich, his collectors got rich, everybody was happy. But, then, in 2008, he got a bit too cocky when he auctioned off two hundred million dollars’ worth of art, fresh from his studio, at Sotheby’s, bypassing dealers entirely. That auction marked the end of Hirst as an art-market darling: his auction volumes and prices dropped, and bitter collectors who had spent millions on his art were left with work worth much less than what they had paid for it.

These days, though, those collectors don’t seem to be so bitter after all. Hirst says that sales from his latest show, in Venice, reached a jaw-dropping three hundred and thirty million dollars as of early November. Even accounting for inflation, that’s substantially more than the two hundred million dollars he racked up at the Sotheby’s auction in 2008. Maybe that day didn’t mark the top of the Hirst market after all.

So why do many knowledgeable observers—from Sarah Thornton in The Economist, in 2012, to Robin Pogrebin in the Times, this past February—think that Hirst became a persona non grata in the art world, stripped of his relevance and power?

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Editor

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EAT, BRAINS, LOVE Cast

from Deadline

Jake Cannavale, Angelique Rivera To Star In ‘Eat, Brains, Love’

by Amanda N’Duka

Rex/Shutterstock
Jake Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), Angelique Rivera (American Crime), and Sarah Yarkin (American Horror Story) have been tapped to star in the indie comedy, Eat, Brains, Love, the Rodman Flender-directed film adaptation of Jeff Hart’s zombie road trip novel. In addition, Jim Titus, Patrick Fabian, Ty Headlee,  Kristin Daniel, and Kym Jackson round out the cast.
The script hails from writing duo Mike Herro and David Strauss. Gunpowder & Sky developed the project with DIGA Studios, an independent production studio founded by former MTV President Tony DiSanto, and Full Fathom Five.
[ click to read full article at Deadline ]

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Editor

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Johnny Hallyday Gone

from BBC News

Johnny Hallyday: France’s ‘Elvis Presley’ dies at 74

France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 74.

The singer sold about 100 million records and starred in a number of films in a career that began in 1960.

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac in 1997.

The French simply called him “Our Johnny”. However, outside the Francophone zone, Hallyday was virtually unknown.

In a statement, his wife Laeticia said: “Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us.

“He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity.”

Hallyday, whose real name was Jean-Philippe Smet, decided he wanted to be a singer after seeing Elvis Presley on screen in 1957. Hallyday was nicknamed the “French Presley” by his numerous fans.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Editor

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Up In Hudson

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Editor

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India To Luna

from Business Insider

India is preparing to land on the moon for the first time in the country’s history

by Hilary Brueck

ISRO chandrayaan 2 mission to the moon

The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there.

Before that, you’d have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon.

But in 2018, India says it’ll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission.

‘Chaand’ is the word for moon in Hindi, so Chandrayaan literally means ‘moon vehicle’ or ‘moon journey.’

[ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Editor

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Moon Express

from CNBC

Moon Express says first launch is ‘definitely’ happening in 2018

by Arjun Kharpal

Moon Express, a company planning to mine material on the moon, is “definitely” going to launch its first mission next year, and could have human colonies there within five years, Chairman Naveen Jain told CNBC on Thursday.

In January, the company said that it was targeting a date in late 2017 to send its lander to the moon. But that has been pushed back until 2018.

“It’s definitely going to be next year, we are in the final stretches of it. And as you can imagine it’s rocket science,” Jain told CNBC in a TV interview from the Slush technology conference in Helsinki, Finland.

“We are really looking good and we are still hoping to launch the lander next year. And when we launch and land on the moon, not only (do) we become the first company to do so, we actually symbolically become the fourth superpower. And imagine the entrepreneurs doing things that only the three superpowers have done before.”

Superpowers such as the U.S. and Russia have previously landed on the moon.

Moon Express is the first private company to get U.S. government approval to go to the moon. Landing there would be a historic feat.

[ click to continue reading at CNBC ]

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Editor

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Missing Magritte

from artnet news

Researchers Uncover the Final Piece of a Missing Magritte, Solving an 85-Year-Old Mystery

The artist once cut apart a critically acclaimed work and painted over the pieces. Now, the final piece has been recovered.

René Magritte, The Enchanted Pose with restored colors. © Succession René Magritte c/o SABAM © ULiège.René Magritte, The Enchanted Pose with restored colors. © Succession René Magritte c/o SABAM © ULiège.

Researchers in Belgium have come upon a René Magritte painting that harbors a long-sought secret.

In the early 1930s, the Belgian artist was poor enough that he reused canvases, painting over one work with another. In one case, he cut one of his paintings—The Enchanted Pose (1927)—into four pieces and painted over each one to create discrete new works. Now, researchers have discovered the fourth and final piece of the original work, solving an 85-year-old mystery.

The work was unearthed at none other than the Magritte Museum, in Brussels, Belgium, where researchers were inspecting all the paintings in the collection as part of a larger research project.

“I screamed something like ‘Oh my gosh!’ but less polite,” said Catherine Defeyt, a researcher at the University of Liège’s European Center for Archaeometry, of the moment of the discovery.

Pieces of the puzzle have been coming to light for four years; the three other pieces were found in three other major museums.

The first piece, The Portrait (1935), was uncovered by curator Anne Umland and conservator Michael Duffy at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2013. It shows two identical female nudes side by side, each with an arm resting on a broken column.

The whereabouts of the original painting were listed in the Magritte catalogue raisonné as unknown; the only existing photo of it was in black and white. Umland and Duffy were inspecting The Portrait by way of conservation research in preparation for an exhibition there.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Turkey Day

Posted on November 23, 2017 by Editor

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Charles Manson Finally Gone

from The New York Post

Charles Manson is rotting in hell

By Jamie Schram

Charles Manson, the ’60s cult leader behind one of the most notorious killings in American history, died Sunday in California after a prolonged illness, officials said. He was 83.

Manson – housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989 – died at 8:13 p.m. local time at Kern County Hospital, the California Department of Corrections said in a press release early Monday.

He’d been in failing health for months and was first hospitalized back in January, reportedly with serious gastrointestinal problems.

Manson — who infamously wore a swastika tattoo between his eyebrows — had spent more than 45 years in prison after being convicted of directing his “Manson Family” clan of troubled, mostly female, followers to kill seven people in California in the summer of 1969. The dead included actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times.

“I am crime,” Manson proudly proclaimed during a collect call to The Post from prison in the mid-2000s.

Born on Nov. 12, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a prostitute named Kathleen Maddox, Manson was officially dubbed “no name Maddox” at birth and apparently never knew his biological father.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Editor

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Malcolm Young Gone

from The New Yorker

Farewell to Malcolm Young, the Mastermind of AC/DC

By Jon Michaud

Picture yourself, if you will, at an AC/DC show at some unruly venue in Albany or Toledo in the fall of 1978. Perhaps a friend has brought you, or maybe hearing one of the band’s songs on FM radio has drawn you there. Regardless, you’re in luck. You’re catching AC/DC at the perfect moment, as it’s on the cusp of transforming itself into a musical juggernaut. The group, hailing from Australia, has just released “Powerage,” a forty-minute distillation of swinging, aggressive rock and roll that Keith Richards will later say is his favorite AC/DC album. In a matter of months, the band will record “Highway to Hell” and, soon after that, “Back in Black,” which will become the sixth-best-selling album of all time.

So, what do you notice? Up front and hard to miss is Angus Young, the diminutive dynamo of a lead guitarist, wearing the sweat-soaked remains of a velvet schoolboy uniform, duck-walking and thrashing his head like the lightning-strike victim on the cover of “Powerage.” Nearby, prancing bare-chested, is the lewd and mischievous lead singer, Bon Scott. (He’ll be dead by the end of the decade.) But, if you can take your eyes off these two showmen for a moment, you might find your gaze drifting to the left of the drum riser, where a pugnacious long-haired kid (he looks like he’s still in high school), wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, is strumming his Gretsch guitar and shaking his leg in time to the driving beat. His name is Malcolm Young, and you could be forgiven for seeing him as just another part of the backing band, but he is in fact the mastermind of the whole operation, at once its visionary and its taskmaster. He is the soul of the band, its leader on and off the stage.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Editor

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Adoption Revisited

from The New York Times

Let’s Restart the Adoption Movement

by 

Jovanna Tosello

Giving to charity makes you happier, healthier and even richer.

That’s what I found in my research for a book I was writing back in 2003. Data clearly showed that giving and volunteering have a positive impact on givers’ health, wealth and life satisfaction — especially when we can see the faces of the people we are helping. Was this the secret to building a better life and happier world?

Excited by these findings, I discussed them with my wife, Ester. Always practical, she suggested that we put my research to the test in our own lives. “I just read that there are millions of abandoned little girls in China,” she said. “I think we should adopt one of them.”

My immediate response: “Hey, it’s only a book!”

Many people are anxious about adoption, although the source of those anxieties has changed over the decades. In a study in the 1980s, the sociologist Charlene E. Miall surveyed a large group of childless women. Many of the interviewees reported a widespread perception that the lack of biological ties must hurt the parent-child bond. They feared that society saw adopted children as second-rate, and adoptive parents as not “real” parents.

But today the most common concerns about adoption have shifted from cultural worries to financial and logistical ones. According to the National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, by 2013 the top two of eight potential concerns for those considering adoption were coping with paperwork and expense.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on November 18, 2017 by Editor

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Last Leo Sold

from artnet

The Last Known Painting by Leonardo da Vinci Just Sold for $450.3 Million

The 500-year-old painting is, by far, the most expensive work ever sold at auction.

Eileen Kinsella

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi. Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2017.Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2017.

After weeks of anticipation, it finally happened: Leonardo da Vinci‘s Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), billed as the last known painting by the Renaissance master in private hands, sold at Christie’s for $450.3 million. It is, by far, the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. In fact, the price is more than double the next most expensive work ever sold, Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’), which fetched $179.4 million in 2015.

The work went to an anonymous client of Alex Rotter, Christie’s global co-head of contemporary art. Before a packed salesroom and scores of camera phones held aloft, bidding opened at $70 million. At $190 million, five bidders—four on the phones and one in the room—were still chasing the painting.

The 19-minute contest eventually came down to Rotter and Francois De Poortere, the head of Christie’s Old Master painting department in New York.

At $352 million, auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen produced a glass of ice water from behind the rostrum and took a sip.

After a protracted bidding war in which Rotter’s client continued to bid in increments as large as $30 million—and De Poortere’s client bid in smaller steps of around $2–5 million—the work hammered down for $400 million to a flurry of applause (and a few gasps). With the auction house’s fees, the final price was $450.3 million.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Editor

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Chuck Mosley Gone

from SPIN

Faith No More’s Chuck Mosley Dead at 57

by Rob Arcand

Former Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley has died. After years of sobriety, Mosley passed away on Friday November 9 “due to the disease of addiction,” according to a statement from his family. “He is survived by long-term partner Pip Logan, two daughters, Erica and Sophie and his grandson Wolfgang Logan Mosley,” the note continues. “The family will be accepting donations for funeral expenses.”

Mosley rose to prominence in the dynamic punk scene of Los Angeles in the early 80s, where he first joined the band Animated with future Faith No More bassist Billy Gould. After joining Faith No More in 1983, Mosley sang on their first two albums, 1985’s We Care A Lot and 1987’s Introduce Yourself, both of which helped establish the band as a powerhouse in funk and metal circles.

Mosley was fired from Faith No More in 1988, going on to sue the band, claiming a partnership stake, which they settled out of court. Later spending years fronting hardcore legends Bad Brains, Mosley also formed the band Cement later in the 90s. With an unpredictable energy, he continued releasing solo albums into the new millennium, eventually reuniting with Faith No More for two shows in 2016, following a reissue of the 1985 classic We Care A Lot.

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Posted on November 11, 2017 by Editor

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Skinflick

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Editor

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Digitus Impudicus

from VICE

The Long, Angry History of Flipping the Bird

by Mack Lamoureux

The middle finger is way older than you think.

In late October, a woman named Juli Briskman pulled off something that many Americans—plus many foreigners—would die to do.

Briskman, bless her heart, flipped Trump the bird.

While Trump’s motorcade was cruising through Sterling, Virginia, they passed Briskman who was on her bike. Briskman, realizing who was pulling past her, extended her arm and popped up that wonderful, old as time, middle finger salute to America’s special liddle guy. As a result of pulling of the much loved stunt, the 50-year-old Briskman was fired by her government contractor employer.

However, the hero of this tale is a defiant one and told Huffpo that she’d “do it again” if given the chance.

But what was Briskman really saying with that single digit salute?

Well, as I’m sure you know, the finger is one of the most cherished gestures in the Western world. It’s how we show disapproval to those who can’t hear our vulgarities for whatever reason, it’s how I tell that chachi dude in the black truck that he almost ran me down in a crosswalk, and, if you’re the Canadian editor of VICE Sports, how you say hello to me in the morning.

The history of the finger isn’t completely concrete, but, as Benjamin Bergen, director of the Language and Cognition Lab at the University of California in San Diego explains, we know flipping people off goes back not just centuries but millennia.

“We know that it goes back, at least, to Greek times,” Bergen told VICE. “It shows up in some Greek plays and where it’s juxtaposed with other sorts of vulgar gestures, like the waggling of a penis for example. We also know that from records that it also showed up in plays in Roman times and in accounts of senate chamber conflict and so on.”

“We know that it had a name in Roman times where it was called the indecent or impudent finger, the Digitus Impudicus. It continues for the following millennium as we know, there are some urban myths people tell about the origins but as far as we can tell none of them are true, it really has a several thousand year history.”

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Editor

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Bring Back The Hiss!

from The Wall Street Journal

A Global Shortage of Magnetic Tape Leaves Cassette Fans Reeling

Brisk demand from old and new fans prompts a Missouri company to return to a long-paused business

By Ryan Dezember and Anne Steele

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Steve Stepp and his team of septuagenarian engineers are using a bag of rust, a kitchen mixer larger than a man and a 62-foot-long contraption that used to make magnetic strips for credit cards to avert a disaster that no one saw coming in the digital-music era.

The world is running out of cassette tape.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Editor

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