Saturday, December 19, 2015

Days Of Decision


"There's a change in the wind and a split in the road. You can do what's right or you can do what you are told. And the prize of the victory will belong to the bold. Yes, these are the days of decision."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Way To Be Free


"Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."

Photography by Lee Greenfeld © 2015
Words from Franz Kafka's Diaries, 1910-1923

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Hangover


Things have been getting a bit stale at Achilles In The Alleyway, and as such we're taking a little break to reset and recharge...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Genuflection before the idol or the dollar destroys the muscles which walk and the will that moves."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition — all such distortions within our own egos — condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos, the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That's how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other's naked hearts."

Friday, September 4, 2015

Man from Wareika


Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez
Rest In Peace

From the Duke Reid Group to the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, from ghetto studios to the stage of Top Of The Pops, from the heat of Kingston to the less inspiring climate of suburban London, it's been a long musical and geographical journey for Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez. During his 50+ year musical odyssey, one thing remained constant: Rico's trombone sound — rugged, eloquent, uncompromising and rarely more than two steps from the blues.

Text adapted from the liner-notes to Trombone Man (Trojan Records, 2005)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"If a person measures his spiritual fulfillment in terms of cosmic visions, surpassing peace of mind, or ecstasy, then he is not likely to know much spiritual fulfillment. If, however, he measures it in terms of enjoying a sunrise, being warmed by a child's smile, or being able to help someone have a better day, then he is likely to know much spiritual fulfillment."

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Coney Island Of My Mind #18


"No urban night is like the night there... Squares after
squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our
poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will."

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2015
Words by Ezra Pound, from Patria Mia © 1911

Monday, August 17, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Is It Rolling, Bob?


Bob Johnston
Rest In Peace

"It wasn't just a matter of turning on the machines. He created an atmosphere in the studio that really invited you to do your best, stretch out, do another take, an atmosphere that was free from judgment, free from criticism, full of invitation, full of affirmation. Just the way he'd move while you were singing: He'd dance for you. So, it wasn't all just as laissez­faire as that. Just as art is the concealment of art, laissez­faire is the concealment of tremendous generosity that he was sponsoring in the studio." -Leonard Cohen

"Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call 'momentum.' You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia's leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way... Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm." -Bob Dylan

Monday, August 10, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"If we are to suppose a miracle to be something so entirely out of the course of what is called nature, that she must go out of that course to accomplish it, and we see an account given of such miracle by the person who said he saw it, it raises a question in the mind very easily decided, which is, is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie?"

Monday, August 3, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"I'm for decency — period. I'm for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday — cash me out."

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Silence? What can New York — noisy, roaring, rumbling, tumbling, bustling, story, turbulent New York — have to do with silence? Amid the universal clatter, the incessant din of business, the all swallowing vortex of the great money whirlpool — who has any, even distant, idea of the profound repose......of silence?"

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ecstasy

Cover mine eyes, O my Love!
Mine eyes that are weary of bliss
As of light that is poignant and strong
O silence my lips with a kiss,
My lips that are weary of song!
Shelter my soul, O my love!
My soul is bent low with the pain
And the burden of love, like the grace
Of a flower that is smitten with rain:
O shelter my soul from thy face!

From The Golden Threshold, 1916

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Different Song


"All too often arrogance accompanies strength, and we must never assume
that justice is on the side of the strong. The use of power must
always be accompanied by moral choice."

Theodore Bikel
Rest In Peace

Monday, July 20, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The contemplation of beauty, whether it be a uniquely tinted sunset, a radiant face, or a work of art, makes us glance back unwittingly at our personal past and juxtapose ourselves and our inner being with the utterly unattainable beauty revealed to us."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Waiting For Primetime


Marlene Sanders
Rest In Peace

"Marlene Sanders got there first. That women are finally recognized as first-rate professionals is due in no small part to the path-breaking courage of Marlene Sanders." -Bill Moyers

Monday, July 13, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"To think that because those who wield power in society wield in the end that of government, therefore it is of no use to attempt to influence the constitution of the government by acting on opinion, is to forget that opinion is itself one of the greatest active social forces. One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Vue Urbaine


"What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters."

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"We are funny creatures. We don't see the stars as they are, so why do we love them? They are not small gold objects, but endless fire."

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)

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."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"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."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Day After


"Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad."

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
Gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth, whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio
vascular health — just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

From The Dead And The Living, © 1984

Monday, March 9, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Gallery Of Cool, Take Seventeen








"Rock'n'roll is an attitude, it's not a musical form of a strict sort. It's a way of doing things, of approaching things. Writing can be rock'n'roll, or a movie can be rock'n'roll. It's a way of living your life."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quote Of The Week

"The trick of enjoying New York is not to be so busy grinding your way to the center of the earth that you fail to notice the sparkle of the place, a scale and a kind of wonder that puts all human endeavors in their proper place."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Simple Truth


 "Some days I catch a rhythm,
almost a song in my own breath."

Philip Levine
Rest In Peace