Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Best Music Of 2018

1. Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt
2. Megative - Self-titled
3. Cliff Westfall - Baby You Win
4. Iceage – Beyondless 

1. Boss - Steel Box
2. Sheer Terror - Pall In The Family
3. Crown Court - Mad In England

Reissues/Archival Releases
1. John Coltrane - Both Directions At Once
2. Bob Dylan - More Blood, More Tracks
3. The Kids/Real Kids - November 1974 Demos / Spring 1977 Demos
4. Laughing Hyenas - Life Of Crime
5. Poison Idea - Feel The Darkness
6. Baby Grande - 1975/1977 
7. Bob Seger & The Last Heard - Heavy Music
8. Helter Skelter - I Need You 45
9. Blue Cheer - The '67 Demos
10. Kubie & The Rats - Turtle Dove 45

Live shows
1. Spiritualized at The Kings Theater
2. Roddy Radiation at Hank’s Saloon
3. The Scientists at Union Pool
4. Peter Hook & The Light at Brooklyn Steel
5. Mr. Airplane Man at Hank’s Saloon
6. The Brought Low with The Mighty High,
Moral Panic, and Green Dragon at Hank’s Saloon

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What Has Become Of Me?

“I used to think there was no time like the present. I used to think there was no time but the present. Now I know better — or different, anyway. In the end, the past will always be there. The past is all there is: the present never sticks around for long enough, and the future is anybody’s guess. In time, you always have to hand it to the past. It always gets you in the end.”

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"I Think I Swallowed A Shot-Glass"

Watching a calm, effortlessly cool and confident Frank record this melencholy masterpiece live in the studio in front of an orchestra with the great Gordon Jenkins conducting = pure bliss.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Where The Winds Hit Heavy

You know, there's cover versions of classics and then there's making a song your own. Howard Tate owns this one, so much so that he even subtly retitles it, which I am sure Dylan took no issue with.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Bar Like A Black Hole

"Daylight bent and broken at its threshold, full of Mohawk ghosts."

The sentimental feelings are starting to overtake me as I count down the days until the closure of Hank's, where I've been booking shows since 2013 (and frequenting for many years before that). There's no way to put into words my feelings about the place, and while I am thrilled that we'll live on in a new space, nothing can compare to that glorious pockmarked corner of Atlantic and Third.

Artwork by John Tebeau
Quote from Jonathan Lethem

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Moving Away From The Pulsebeat

Pete Shelley
Rest In Peace

I can perfectly recall the day I scored The Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady and being absolutely floored at a collection of singles better than most band's albums (I must've played "Ever Fallen In Love" a dozen times that day). I had the honor of meeting Pete Shelly a few years back at the after-party for one of their shows. We chatted for a minute and I asked him if I could buy him a drink. He smiled and purred, "a Cosmo please." I endured quite the looks ordering it in that dump of a bar, Lit Lounge. Anyway, he was a gentlemen and truly one of the greats, making music that I'll listen to for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Set You Free This Time

The top-10 greatest Byrds songs, subject to change at any moment. This is TOUGH to keep to just ten, let alone put in any kind of order.

1. "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better"
2. "Thoughts And Words"
3. "The World Turns All Around Her"
4. "Eight Miles High"
5. "Why"
6. "Draft Morning"
7. "Set You Free This Time"
8. "Here Without You"
9. "Just A Season"
10. "Chestnut Mare"

(Not included are massive favorites like "Goin' Back," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," and "My Back Pages" as they weren't written by the group.)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Thousand Points Of Light

I won't celebrate his death, and in fact George H.W. Bush seemed to have aged into a decent, caring human being (and he did a few great things like sign the Americans With Disabilities Act into law). Yes, compared to who we've got now, he looks wonderful in hindsight, but how can anyone forget what an awful president he was? Some reminders: the disgusting race-baiting Willie Horton ads, the Gulf War and the utter destabilization of the Middle East, the intentional targeting of civilian infrastructure in Iraq (which some would call a war crime), the escalation of the drug war, and so on. When he left office he had an overall 22% approval rating and wasn't even invited to the Republican National Convention. Oh, and lest we forget his involvement with the Iran-Contra affair when he was VP (and his pardoning of Caspar Weinberger once he was president).

Poster by John Yates

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Golden Oldies

Robert "Bleecker Bob" Plotnik
Rest In Peace

Fare thee well to the one and only Bleecker Bob. Yeah yeah, his store was generally a rip-off and he was a grump, but he was always cool to me, busting my chops in a proper True York style, and he employed a few of my friends (who always hooked me up). For years he told me he'd give me a vintage BB's shirt, but never came through. Then one day he yelled at me as I was flipping through records, "Ay, here's that damn shirt I promised you..." It was a fucking XXL! Thanks, Bob.

Friday, November 23, 2018

One Day... All This Will Be Gone

Digging: Quadrophenia (the original double-LP), the company of childhood friends, big life changes, the Megative LP, the musings of Dan Rather, and experiments in leftover turkey consumption.

Not digging: the rapid destruction of NYC at the hands of mega-corporations (in collaboration with our local government), the ugly demonization of immigrants, and as always, the MTA.

Monday, November 12, 2018

'Nuff Said!

Stan Lee
Rest In Peace

"I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing."

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Freedom To Criticize And Oppose

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Gotta Break Free

"Right here, all by myself. I ain't got no one else.
The situation is bleeding me, there's no relief for a person like me."

My entry to punk-rock, hardcore, and "underground music" was via Reagan Youth, MDC, the Misfits, and D.O.A.: A Right Of Passage documentary, but Black Flag was the real game-changer. It's hard to put into words how important the band was to me (and still is), but I know I could not have dealt with the long and depressing train-ride to high school every morning without Black Flag, along with taped copies of Kool DJ Red Alert's Kiss-FM radio show, blasting at an ear-splitting volume on my walkman.

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Visit

"We have art in order not to die of the truth."

In awe at the studio of legendary painter Larry Poons. (Poons also played guitar in '60s avant garde band The Druids along with La Monte Young, Jasper Johns, and occasionally Andy Warhol.)

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Times Like These

Todd "Youth" Schofield
Rest In Peace

From the relatively small New York Hardcore scene and the A7 club to playing on The Tonight Show with the legendary Glen Campbell, Todd Youth had quite a spectacular musical journey.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Silence = Culpability

"I remember he asked his father, 'Can this be true? This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be commited? How could the world remain silent?' And now the boy is turning to me. 'Tell me," he asks, 'what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?' And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget we are guilty, we are accomplices. And then I explain to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation."

Friday, October 26, 2018

Just To Get Away

Currently not digging: baseless and ridiculous conspiracy theories, REBNY, loud-talkers (particularly Wall Street types brokering deals on their cell-phones), and as always, the MTA.

Currently digging: a nice glass of Vermentino after a long-ass day of work, the inspiring writing of Rosa Luxemburg, the genius sounds of Thelonious Monk, attempting to live healthy, and the new monumental reissue of Feel The Darkness.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Psychotic Reactions

"The first mistake of art is to assume that it's serious."

Words by Lester Bangs
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Solid Gold Hell

The Scientists live'n'loud in Brooklyn.
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Amazing Journey

Was there a better group dynamic from a rock band at this point in history? I doubt it. Next-level stuff right here, which is quite possibly even better than the Live At Leeds show. The second Bill Graham finishes his intro, the band come out intent on nothing but total rock-action. The version of "Heaven And Hell" is surely one of the greatest documented first songs of a rock set. Stunning!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Built For Sound

The Brooklyn Paramount (“America’s First Theater Built For Sound”) helped bring jazz to Brooklyn with artists like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis playing the theater. In 1943 singer Leo Fuld introduced Yiddish music on the stage, and in the 1950s Alan Freed’s legendary rock‘n’roll shows kicked off with acts including Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly. Others that graced the stage: Ray Charles, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee, Johnny Burnett, Dion, Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker, the Drifters, Coasters, and Little Anthony & The Imperials! The final live rock'n'roll stage show was with Jackie Wilson and an all-star cast but sadly the theatre was shuttered shortly afterwards and now stands as part of Long Island University.

Photograph and text via Brooklyneeze

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks

I was in funky little ice cream parlor staffed by an old school high school basketball team (a la The White Shadow), and owned by the X-Men crew. The walls were covered in framed tags and Funkadelic was blasting on the stereo at an insane volume. I debated getting some ice-cream for a while with an unknown friend and finally settled on a small cup of coffee-mocha. As I left I realized they had given me what seemed like a gallon's worth of the stuff, and it kept changing colors. When I finally scooped out a bite, it had no flavor; utterly without taste and kind of like eating thick air. I took the tub to the beach, sat in the rain, and began planning my trip to Algeria.

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's A Shame

Joseph "JoJo" Hoo Kim
Rest In Peace

Joseph "Jo Jo" Hoo Kim was one of the most important Jamaican record producers of the '70s, developing a tough, militant roots reggae style known as the "rockers" sound. As the head of the Channel One studio and label family, Hoo Kim and his three brothers worked with many of the top reggae artists of the '70s, especially dominating the Jamaican charts in the latter half of the decade. Their house band, the Revolutionaries, spun off the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and their productions set new standards for high-tech sound quality in Jamaica.

Joseph Hoo Kim was born to Chinese and Chinese-Jewish parents and grew up in the rough Maxfield Park area of Kingston. His family owned a bar and an ice cream parlor in the area, and he and his three brothers -- Ernest, Paul, and Kenneth — initially went into business for themselves in the gambling industry, as slot machine operators. But when the Jamaican government outlawed gambling, JoJo turned to his new love, reggae music. He bought a top-quality four-track recording console and opened the Channel One studio in 1972, with Bunny Lee and Syd Bucknor serving as its first producer/engineer combination. Eventually those slots would be filled by JoJo and his brother Ernest, respectively, as well as a series of other talented up-and-comers. The studio's first year was a rocky one, as Hoo Kim struggled to perfect the technical aspects of the recording process, but soon the backing band -- dubbed the Revolutionaries — started to fall into place with the arrival of drummer Sly Dunbar in early 1973. (Other personnel would include bassist Robbie Shakespeare, keyboardist Ansel Collins, and veteran saxophonist Tommy McCook, among many others.)

Over the next few years, Channel One built a name for itself as one of Jamaica's best studios, thanks to its state-of-the-art equipment and top-notch house band. Its early records were often by veteran artists like Delroy Wilson, Leroy Smart, Junior Byles, and Horace Andy. However, Hoo Kim gradually built a stable of fresh talent that culminated in the 1976 release of the Mighty Diamonds' smash "Right Time," which gave Channel One the commercial breakthrough it had been seeking. Channel One productions dominated the Jamaican charts for the next several years, with major hits by the likes of Dr. Alimantado, Black Uhuru, the Meditations, and the Wailing Souls, and DJs like Dillinger, I-Roy, Trinity, and Ranking Trevor. Many of Hoo Kim's productions borrowed established instrumental rhythms from Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One catalog, an approach that laid the groundwork for much of the early dancehall sound. Hoo Kim also pioneered the 12" single format in Jamaica, offering vocal, DJ, and dub versions of the same song on a record that offered better sound quality.

In 1977, Hoo Kim's brother Paul was shot to death in a robbery, leaving JoJo badly shaken. Although the studio continued to run smoothly, he left Jamaica and its increasing violence and went to New York to gather himself. He wound up more or less settling there, but returned to Channel One on a monthly basis to oversee its operations. By this time, Sly & Robbie had split from the Revolutionaries to form their own label and production partnership, and continued to book time at the studio. During the early '80s, Channel One positioned itself at the forefront of the dancehall explosion, as hot new producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes and his new house band, the Roots Radics, came to the studio and built on its previous Coxsone Dodd worship. Artists like Barrington Levy, Frankie Paul, and Sugar Minott all found breakout success through Lawes and Channel One.  

Hoo Kim, meanwhile, gradually began to move his family's other music-related ventures to New York; he opened a division of Channel One there, and relocated the record pressing plant operation to Brooklyn. He came up with the idea for the so-called "clash" album, mimicking live DJ competitions by devoting separate sides of an LP to separate artists; the concept became hugely popular in Jamaica during the early '80s. Even so, Hoo Kim was gradually losing interest in the reggae business. When dancehall mutated into the all-digital ragga style in the mid-'80s, he and his brothers largely gave up Channel One, and the studio and their labels were shut down by the end of the decade. Hoo Kim stayed in New York and retained control of the record pressing plant.

Text by Steve Huey/AllMusic

Friday, September 14, 2018

Outside Society

John Wilcock
Rest In Peace 

"I have no regrets about the path I took, which helped to backstop and record the youth revolution — maybe the first time in history that teenagers actually had power."

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Make A Change

"One of the best-kept secrets in American politics is that the two-party system has long been brain dead — kept alive by support systems like state electoral laws that protect the established parties from rivals and by federal subsidies and so-called campaign reform. The two-party system would collapse in an instant if the tubes were pulled and the IVs were cut."

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Into This Neutral Air

Every year I try to avoid listening to the 'reading of the names,' and yet I always find myself hypnotized by the words of my beloved neighbors, unable to pry myself away from the echo of loss. There is no closure and there never will be. Our sky remains broken.

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Just Coolin'

There really aren't many bands better live than Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, circa 1959... Talk about firing on all cylinders!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ask Me What I Am

"I'm gonna pull the chain on you, pal. And you wanna know why?
'Cause you're fucking up my city. 'Cause you're walking all over people like you own them.
And you wanna know the worst part? You're from out of state."

My fondest Burt Reynolds memory is when my great aunt took me to see Sharky's Machine in the theater. I was definitely way too young for the film, but loved it to pieces. She was aghast by the language and violence. Fare thee well Burt, thanks for the memories.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Nays And Yays

Things I currently don't dig: The uproar over an endorsement (for an overpriced product manufactured in sweatshops), shaming people for an honest day's work, attacks on the free press, Democracy in shambles, humidity, West Ham's abysmal start of the season, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and my achey big toe.

Things I am currently digging: the lost Coltrane album Both Directions At Once (still on constant rotation), my family and friends, quinoa, the poetry and essays of Victor Serge, my dogs, my recent record scores, being (temporarily) sober, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Take A Little Walk With Me

I’d grab the subway at Dekalb and take the long ride to Brighton Beach — one of my favorite trips in the city, with all its slow turns and views of scarred rooftops and weather-worn store-top signage. After I'd exit the train, I'd troop over to my grandparents' street for the barrage of you-got-so-big's and cheek-pinches via all the lovable yentas from the building parked out front. (I can still picture my grandma's tough smile when she'd see me, and perfectly recall the unique smell of the lobby of her building and the creaky ancient elevator up to the 6th floor.) The beach chairs were usually lined-up all the way down the block, each building with its own unique crew. One of my favorite characters was a very zaftig Russian woman whose name is lost with time. Her sons were supposedly gangsters and she sold blackmarket caviar from a cooler under her chair. She never smiled, and when she died she was buried in a piano box.

Words and photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Backyard Trance

“We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.”

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018
Words by Haruki Murakami from Kafka On The Shore, 2002

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jane's Lament

There's a new breed of city-dwelling squirrel monkey that is able to slip through cracks in walls and open windows. They end up in people's homes, where they mount the chins of their sleeping victims and slowly poke at their faces with X-Acto knives, all while making a strange laugh-like noise.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Real Thing

Aretha Franklin's passing yesterday sent me into a music-obsessive frenzy, ending up focusing on her underrated Columbia sides. As I was listening to her take on the oft-covered "(It Will Have to Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along," I realized it was one of the rare times I think she was bested on a song. That's not to say her version isn't stellar; it is, it's just that Judy Henske's take sends chills down my spine, and I prefer it to classic and stunning versions by the likes of Billie Holiday, the Ink Spots, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Aretha, etc. Henske's work-up is the perfect synthesis of Holiday and Fats Waller's adaptations, with an extra helping of sass, a hint of 1960s abandon, and total raw fucking power.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Learn The Tale Of Our Tribe

"New York is best seen with innocent eyes. It doesn't matter if you are younger or old. Reading our rich history makes the experience more layered, but it is not a substitute for walking the streets themselves. For old-timer or newcomer, it is essential to absorb the city as it is now in order to shape your own nostalgias."

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018
Words by Pete Hamill from Downtown, 2004

Saturday, August 4, 2018

You'd Never Be As Lonely As Me

There was an elderly guy sitting at the bar tonight talking to anyone and everyone who sat near him. He was buzzed but not overly drunk, and nice enough albeit slightly annoying. A couple sits down and humors him for a while, and then gently asks if they can get back to their own conversation. He says “okay,” sits quietly for about five minutes and then tells them that he is “the loneliest person in the world,” adding after a pause “and I live in Brooklyn.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Time Sensitive Poll

Should I ask the guy speaking/yelling at an insane VOLUME at the bar what his thoughts are on the current US trade deals, the recording industry, situationist art, or tight fitting pants, seeing as he apparently has an OPINION ON ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ? Or, should I just knock him off his stool on my way out for being all THAT IS WRONG WITH THE NEW NEW YORK?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Taking Leave

Seeing an on-leave soldier tonight at the bar handwrite a long letter to a friend before shipping back overseas was truly a sight to behold.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

No Reservations

“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final
resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing
how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go." 

Anthony Bourdain
Rest In Peace

I was majorly influenced by Anthony Bourdain to open my mind and to eat at random and sometimes odd spots at home and abroad; at times trying dishes that were completely foreign to me. Due to this I've had some of the most delicious food and wonderful experiences that I'll always treasure the memory of... From heavenly ceviche tostadas inhaled at a roadside street-cart in Bucerías, to oysters scored from a guy decked out with a tool belt of hot sauces, still dripping wet from the catch on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. From fiery street-cart ear tacos in Jackson Heights, to an eye-opening sitdown meal at a Himalayan spot down the road. From truly scrumptious $1 fried dumplings in a filthy hole in the wall in a Chinatown alleyway, to Shabu-Shabu in a somewhat hidden, walk-up ten table restaurant in midtown. And so on and so on and so on.

Friday, June 1, 2018


"They were offered the choice between becoming kings or the couriers of kings. The way children would, they all wanted to be couriers. Therefore there are only couriers who hurry about the world, shouting to each other — since there are no kings — messages that have become meaningless. They would like to put an end to this miserable life of theirs but they dare not because of their oaths of service."

Short-story and art by Franz Kafka

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

We Leave A Stain

Philip Roth
Rest In Peace

Fare thee well to my favorite author... I never met Philip Roth, but I still feel like I lost a friend last night. As with his writing, his death has hit me hard, though I am thankful that I can revisit him time and time again through his words. He is now truly immortal.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

In A Trance

The comedown soundtrack for when all you desire is to stare at the ceiling and contemplate all the bad decisions you've made in life.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Betrayal And Redemption

Last night I dreamt that a few old friends told me it had been decided by a collective that I was to be killed (sacrificed?) for some unspoken transgression. I accepted my fate, though after being stabbed multiple times in the stomach, and sitting with two of my friends on a long bench in some unrecognizable dystopian setting, I realized I wasn’t ready to die. I expressed this to them and they seemed relieved, as if I passed a test. They rushed me to a hospital, which was set up like a maze. Suddenly I was wandering around alone, clutching my gut, and when I finally found a doctor, she calmly told me I needed an organ transplant. She then walked me to a zip-line, the type you’d see set-up for tourists in a forest or jungle, that was to take me to the operating room...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dissed And Dismissed

I can perfectly recall the first time someone spit in my face. It was 9th grade and the subway was so overcrowded — as per usual — that I had to climb in between cars to get a spot, otherwise I’d be late for school uptown. I did the not so graceful '80s train-jump, and ended up with a bunch of other miscreants like myself rolling towards the city. Within moments some b-boy ran along the side of the train as it left the platform, and launched a loogie at his boys next to me. It hit me full-on in the face, and the hard-rocks next to me didn’t even laugh as they knew that there were borders you just didn’t cross. The rage I felt was incalculable, and I still see red when I think of the slime running down my cheek.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sucking Rocks for Water

"By trying to export myself into a place that didn't fully exist I asked works of art to bear my expectation that they could be better than life, that they could redeem life. In fact, I believe they are, and do. My life is dedicated to that belief. But still, I asked too much of them: I asked them also to be both safer than life and fuller, a better family. That they couldn't give. At the depths I'd plumb them, so many perfectly sufficient works of art would become thin, anemic. I sucked the juice out of what I loved until I found myself in a desert, sucking rocks for water."

A Pair Of Shoes by Vincent Van Gogh
Words from The Disappointment Artist, 2006

Saturday, April 14, 2018

It Always Would Be

A lesson I learned a bit too late in life living in this big fucked up and wonderful city is to always take the time to look up, stop and smell the angles; take some time to live in the moment. There are countless days this place I’ve lived all my days drives me to drink — as of late, mostly due to the new breed transplants with no respect for our traditions — but there are many more days when it feels like a first kiss. Oh New York City, I love you so. You own my heart.

Words and photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

In The Hour Of His Deepest Need

For as far back as he could recall, there was one thing that always brought him comfort. The words that rang true and glowed like burning coal. Words that heralded hope, proclaimed love, celebrated loss, embraced shattered faith, and shook a finger at corruption. Words that carried his broken self to lonesome side-streets, waterfront docks, and beauty parlors filled with sun-pecked faces. Words that caressed with a singular voice, a knowing wink, and left in their wake a warm, seemingly all-knowing security.

© 2011-2018 Lee Greenfeld

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Searching For The Light

“What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would have once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn't wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup."

Words by Philip Roth from American Pastoral, 1997

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Electrified Rat-Race

"We are accustomed to think of ourselves as an emancipated people; we say that we are democratic, liberty-loving, free of prejudices and hatred. This is the melting-pot, the seat of a great human experiment. Beautiful words, full of noble, idealistic sentiment. Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world beside the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment? The land of opportunity has become the land of senseless sweat and struggle. The goal of all our striving has long been forgotten. We no longer wish to succor the oppressed and homeless; there is no room in this great, empty land for those who, like our forefathers before us, now seek a place of refuge. Millions of men and women are, or were until very recently, on relief, condemned like guinea pigs to a life of forced idleness. The world meanwhile looks to us with a desperation such as it has never known before. Where is the democratic spirit? Where are the leaders?"

Words by Henry Miller from The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, 1945

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Heart Of The White Rose

"The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves — or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn."

Words attributed to Sophie Scholl (citation needed)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Water Is Life

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Is This Where It Is?

Mickey Jones
Rest In Peace

Fare thee well to drummer Mickey Jones who played on one of the most historic live recordings of all-time, as well as a clutch of classic songs like "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," "Secret Agent Man," and "If I Had a Hammer" (the Trini Lopez version), not to mention having had a pretty bad-ass acting career.