I'd rather smoke one cigar than hear two sermons.
— Robert Ingersoll
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
— Anaïs Nin
Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
— Albert Camus
The world is full of suffering but it is also full of people overcoming it.
— Helen Keller
Da Da Da
Brooklyn artist Brian Higbee, who exhibited at Hallwalls in 2006 (< href="http://www.hallwalls.org/visual_shows/2006/show_aapr.html">Epicenter City, below), first turned me on to Señor Coconut. The Señor is actually German dj and producer Uwe Schmidt, who had released material under an alias before, but never succeeded quite like he did when he moved to Chile and starting inject Latin influences into his electronica performances—most striking in his numerous cover versions of Kraftwerk songs on his first record El Baile Alemán. A German adopting a Latin guise in order to do cover German techno classics sounds like a gag, but the result is a quiet little classic of an album. I've enjoyed it many times. It's beautiful and lively and is faithful to both its adopted Latin stylings and the original German material it covers. Brian sent me a link to the Señor's new video, which interestingly covers a 1982 hit by another, far less famous German band, Trio. It's not a song I would have anticipated anyone covering, but it holds up to a new treatment. If smart rap artist would throw in some bottom end and a slinky P-funk bass line, I can imagine it being a massive hit. Nice video for the tail end of winter, a reminder that warmer ecstasies are imminent:
Associated Artists for Propaganda Research
NEXT HALLWALLS OPENING:
Nathaniel Freeman: Killing Rowlando
Saturday, March 7, 8 to 11pm
Artist Talk @ 8pm
"Killing Rowlando is an immersive video installation that utilizes contemporary and archival footage to explore disparate constructions of masculinity across generations, as well as the decline of personal and political power that comes with age. The project is inspired by a family history that has produced both military generals and wards of the state within the same generation. Suspended between these two sides of his past, Freeman looks at the overlap between a seemingly organized mental state and pure bedlam, and the way these two conditions are not opposites so much as the transitory manifestation of a cultural need."
TOMORROW @ HALLWALLS
Adam Cain Trio
Sat, Feb 28,8pm
"Being blindsided by newcomers is one of our favorite sensations, and the latest to smack us upside the ears is guitarist Adam Caine. He's clearly his own man, and one to watch." — Time Out New York
This April event merits a homemade commercial of the kind where a man in a cheap suit is screaming at you about slashing his prices. Who else but the crazy folks at Hallwalls would bring you this for $25:
Asbury Hall @ Babeville
"Soon after he first emerged in the mid-'50s, pianist Cecil Taylor was the most advanced improviser in jazz; five decades later he is still the most radical. Although in his early days he used some standards as vehicles for improvisation, since the early '60s Taylor has stuck exclusively to originals. To simplify describing his style, one could say that Taylor's intense atonal percussive approach involves playing the piano as if it were a set of drums. He generally emphasizes dense clusters of sound played with remarkable technique and endurance, often during marathon performances. Suffice it to say that Cecil Taylor's music is not for everyone." ,a href=http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fifyxqy5ldse~T1>All Music Guide
• Autistic Services Exhibition op @ WNED Horizons Gallery, op Tues, Apr 3, 6—7pm (thru Apr 29)
• Betty's 4th Annual Staff Exhibition op Mon, Mar 9, 6—9pm (thru May 10)
Parsifal Unspoken @ Babeville
@ Dean Project in Flushing and Long Island op Sat, Feb 28
including Barbara Weissberger(above), who exhibited with us at Hallwalls last year.
• John Aasp. Kevin Kline @ BAS thru March 7
• Amy Greenan @ the Castellani thru May 17 and Kara Walker thru May 31
• Monica Angle, Deborah Stewart, Kathleen Sherin @ Indigo thru Mar 15
• Bruce Jackson at the Albright Knox thru May 10
• Saya Woolfalk, Ani Hoover @ UB Art Gallery thru June 20
• Big Orbit Members Exhibition thru Feb 28
• Peter Stephens @ Nina Freudenheim thru Feb 24 Artvoice Mead
• James Paulsen @ Burchfield Nature & Art Center thru Apr 11
• Gene Witkowski, Glenn Murray, Robert Schultz, MIchael Mulley, Jerry Greenberg, Amanda Giczkowski, NIck DeMarchi, Fran Amaya, Tim Raymond, Candace Keegan, Neil Mahar, Joe Moran, Jax Deluca, Ran Weber @ College Street Gallery thru Mar 4
• Lukia Costello @ Buffalo Museum of Science thru Apr 16
• Biff Henrich @ Nichols thru March 16
• Western NY Impressions: Selected Prints from the Gerald Mead Collection @ NCCC thru Feb 27
• Kara Daving @ Charleston Heights Arts Center in Las Vegas thru Mar 14
• Bruce Bitmead at Analytical Psychology Society of WNY (408 Franklin) thru Mar 12
• Gary Nickard, Reinhard Reitzenstein @ Olin Library (OH) thru Feb 28
• Malcolm Bonney, Bruce Blair, Robin Mois, Rennee Oubre, Steve Rovner, Larrry Griffis, Karen Sirgey in The Cartesian Divide @ Artspace thru March 29
• Dave Gusman @ Starlight Studio thru Mar 13
• Len Kegelmacher, Linda MIchalek, Fran Noonan thru March 13
• Healing of the Heart Through the Spoken Work @ Impact Artists Gallery thru Feb 28
• Rita Argen Auerbach at The Mansion on Delaware (until daylight savings time ends)
• Diane Baker at The Mansion on Delaware (indefinitely)
BEYOND/IN WESTERN NEW YORK: ALTERNATING CURRENTS
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: MARCH 15/09
Beyond/IN Western New York 2010
"And yet the museum, whose looting in 2003 became a symbol of the chaos that followed the American invasion, officially reopened on Monday. Thousands of works from its collection of antiquities and art — some of civilization’s earliest objects — remain lost."
"Yuskavage has sunk her erotic smurfs into a lime green never-never land that veers a little too close to the juvenile tastes of Michael Jackson's Ranch Art collection, about to go up for auction. Little people journey into the forest past giant Cabbage Patch dolls with pulsating clits. Some of them have come on their faces , or perhaps it's whipped cream."
"The signature Saatchi collecting method, as many call it, is the lump and dump: buy things cheaply en masse, the good, bad and ugly, then sell in the same fashion at auction, usually after a brief holding period. Some spaghetti could usually be expected to stick to the wall."
"In other words, according to loan documents filed with the city, one of the world’s most successful photographers essentially pawned every snap of the shutter she had made or will make until the loans are paid off."
"It was as a teenager in the summer of 1966 that Mr. Newton first met Candy Darling, a self-styled transgender glamour girl. He was on his first trip to the Village from his home in Flushing, Queens, when he encountered her promenading with two downtown drag queens past the old Women’s House of Detention on Greenwich Avenue, where prisoners peered through slit windows in a tower and shouted down to passers-by."
"The rigors of performing have reinvigorated Mr. Cohen, whose trademark black suit and fedora conveyed a somber chic. He literally skipped offstage at the end of each half, and after each of his several encores. He sashayed back on, with the slyest of grins."
It's going to be a sad day when Leonard Cohen dies. He is one of our Great Canadians, an artist whose talent and influence far exceeded even the wide expanse of his native land. I read Leonard Cohen's poetry in high school, but never particularly cared for it. But in his music—particularly as he grew older and older—Cohen found a profundity that struck me as more real than the profundity-lite of his 60s era poetry. If you have doubts about the veracity or depth of this man's cool, look no further than the following clip of Cohen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Now, I don't care for the RRHF. I've been there and it's an attrocious crap palace, a big mall-style pimple with lazy, ill-conceived displays and a cheap, tawdry treatment of a genre that is dear to my heart and deserves far greater cultural respect. Rock and roll is so teeming with drama and emotion, the Chucky Cheese decor of the Hall of Fame does its subject no favors. Someone needs to recurate the entire sorry mess. So I care as little about inductions into the Crap Palace as I do who wins an Oscar (I learned there was no Oscar Justice when You Light Up My Life beat Nobody Does It Better for Best Song in 1978 and, more insanely, Kramer Vs. Kramer won Best Picture over Apocalypse Now. Nuff said.) But Cohen's acceptance speech for his induction in 2008 surely ranks as one of the greatest acceptance speeches by anyone for any award. He manages to turn a self-congratulatory moment into a flash of deep introspective insight. It's fun to witness Lou Reed's amused incredulity at Cohen's use of language as he introduces him, but that's nothing compared to an acceptance speech that uses the lyrics of an entire Cohen song.
Something I listened to this week...
(vinyl) Of late, as the morning radio has been filled with tales of pending economic apocalypse, I can only stand about 10 minutes of airtime. Once the espresso is brewed, I'm not interested in souring the precious morning caffeination ritual and for the past few weeks, I've flipped on one of the four sides of this great instrumental collection from 1975. Wilson played organ, complimented nicely by drums, conga, guitar, bass, and trombone. This work is technically soul-jazz, but you can hear the grooves and the attitude that a couple decades later would emerge as acid jazz. Wilson covers Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Clifton Davis, and Burt Bacharach, among others. Good music for tough times. And hey, Reuben's still around—he's got a My Space page.