Monday, June 29, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Solid Gold


"Well, I was driving around Boston looking for a place just to shake my ass.
Don't wanna to hear no disco, gotta hear something outta my past."

Billy Borgioli
Rest In Peace

Monday, June 22, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Never Before Now


Gary Quackenbush
Rest In Peace

"The 1960s are remembered as a very fertile time for music, when bands were actually encouraged to take risks, be different, try something new and write their own material. With so many talented acts around, it's easy to see how some of the less-commercial bands might be forgotten. Sometimes the most interesting music is the kind you have to seek out and dig for, like a lost treasure — SRC are a perfect example of this. With musical barriers and restrictions being torn down then, it allowed bands across the country to do something original. Detroit specifically, from the mid-'60s to the early '70s, had a budding scene where bands were producing harsher sounds and pushed the musical limits. This was the atmosphere in which the heavy psychedelic-rock of SRC would flourish."

Text from SRC: Their Story (Perfect Sounds Forever)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.


Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.


The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.


Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.


From Edna  St. Vincent Millay's Collected Poems © 1928

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore one another, to care only about ourselves."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"I believe in you and me. I'm like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life — in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by god, then I believe in god. But I don't believe in a personal god to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Too Many Mornings


Bobby Jameson 
Rest In Peace

I first heard Bobby Jameson when I picked up an LP about 15 years ago called Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest by Chris Lucey. I knew nothing of Lucey, but was intrigued by the title and cover-photo, which oddly enough is a live shot of Brian Jones. Songs is an excellent dark folk album — with hints of Latin jazz and the occasional out-right pop-psych number like "Girl From Vernon Mountain" — at times reminiscent of Arthur Lee and Love, as well as Phil Ochs, Fred Neil and other tragi-folk go-nowheres. It turned out that Lucey was in reality the singer/songwriter Bobby Jameson who put out a string of fantastic 45s, highlights being his 1963 debut "Let's Surf" (released under the name Bobby James), "I Wanna Love You" b/w "I'm So Lonely" (ethereal Buddy Holly-eque weep), the classic "All I Want Is My Baby" (co-penned with Andrew Loog Oldham and Keith Richards, and rumored to feature Jimmy Page on lead guitar), "Reconsider Baby" (arranged and produced by Frank Zappa), and the absolutely scorching two-sider "Vietnam" b/w "Metropolitan Man," which Jameson recorded with garage-punk legends The Leaves.

Jameson also released two other LPs, and recorded intermitdedly throughout the '70s and '80s, but drug and criminal problems — as well as thieving record labels — kept him from achieving any semblance of success (he was even homeless at one point). Seek out any of his songs on YouTube, and you'll see how history overlooked a real gem of a songwriter/performer.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Because we don't know, do we? Everyone knows… How what happens the way it does? What underlies the anarchy of the train of events, the uncertainties, the mishaps, the disunity, the shocking irregularities that define human affairs? Nobody knows. 'Everyone knows' is the invocation of the cliché and the beginning of the banalization of experience, and it's the solemnity and the sense of authority that people have in voicing the cliché that's so insufferable. What we know is that, in an unclichéd way, nobody knows anything. You can't know anything. The things you know you don't know. Intention? Motive? Consequence? Meaning? All the we don't know is astonishing. Even more astonishing is what passes for knowing."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Partin' Time


Riley "Blues Boy" King
Rest In Peace

I only saw B.B. King live one time, back in 1990, but I remember it perfectly. Before the show me and my boys were drinking at the old P&G bar on 74th Street watching news footage about the Gulf War, which was not exactly a great warm-up for the night ahead. At the show, B.B. commanded the stage like no one else I had seen — it felt intimate despite being in a massive theater — transporting the entire crowd to a loving place.

B.B. King was an unparalleled performer, a fantastic guitar player, and true American icon. He also seemed like a really good person. His loss is hard to calculate, but the thrill is surely gone now.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The matter on which I judge people is their willingness, or ability, to handle contradiction. Thus Paine was better than Burke when it came to the principle of the French revolution, but Burke did and said magnificent things when it came to Ireland, India and America. One of them was in some ways a revolutionary conservative and the other was a conservative revolutionary. It's important to try and contain multitudes. One of my influences was Dr Israel Shahak, a tremendously brave Israeli humanist who had no faith in collectivist change but took a Spinozist line on the importance of individuals. Gore Vidal's admirers, of whom I used to be one and to some extent remain one, hardly notice that his essential critique of America is based on Lindbergh and 'America First' — the most conservative position available. The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has — from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And then? I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And what next? I get laid, I take a short holiday, but very soon after I fall upon those same thorns with gratification in pain, or suffering in joy—who knows what the mixture is! What good, what lasting good is there in me? Is there nothing else between birth and death but what I can get out of this perversity—only a favorable balance of disorderly emotions? No freedom? Only impulses? And what about all the good I have in my heart—does it mean anything? Is it simply a joke? A false hope that makes a man feel the illusion of worth? And so he goes on with his struggles."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Like Song Birds On The Wing


Guy Carawan
Rest In Peace

"Heed the call, Americans all, side by equal side.
Sisters, sit in dignity, brothers sit in pride."

Among many other things, Carawan founded the Highlander Research And Education Center, marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Selma, and is responsible for introducing "We Shall Overcome" to the Civil Rights movement back in 1960.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The tragic right is a condition of life, a condition in which the human personality is able to flower and realize itself. The wrong is the condition which suppresses man, perverts the flowing out of his love and creative instinct. Tragedy enlightens — and it must, in that it points the heroic finger at the enemy of man's freedom. The thrust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts. The revolutionary questioning of the stable environment is what terrifies."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Portrait Of The City As An Old Dog


"I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever
questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know,
because I won’t ever dare ask that question."

#SaveNYC is a grassroots, crowd-sourced D.I.Y. movement to protect and preserve the diversity and uniqueness of the urban fabric in New York City. As our vibrant streetscapes and neighborhoods are turned into bland, suburban-style shopping malls, filled with chain stores and glossy luxury retail, #SaveNYC is fighting for small businesses and cultural institutions to remain in place. The mission is to bring attention to the plight of mom'n'pops, and to lobby state and city government to implement significant and powerful protections for small businesses and cultural institutions across the five boroughs.

Photograph by Adam Nelson © 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Too Much Of Everything


"It's so much darker when a light goes out
than it would have been if it had never shone."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don't stop to think, don't interrupt the scream, exhale, release life's rapture."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

And I'll Be Satisfied


"And I shall watch the ferry boats, and they'll get high, on a bluer ocean against tomorrow's sky. And I will never grow so old again, and I will walk and talk, in gardens all wet with rain..."

Words by Van Morrison
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hurry On Sundown


"He stepped down, avoiding any long look at her as one avoids long looks at the sun, but seeing her as one sees the sun, without looking."

Quote from Anna Karenina, 1877
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."