Sunday, March 29, 2009

You can really learn a lot that way...

"For The Turnstiles" by Neil Young
From the album "On the Beach", 1974

All the sailors
with their seasick mamas
Hear the sirens on the shore,
Singin' songs
for pimps with tailors
Who charge ten dollars
at the door.

You can really
learn a lot that way
It will change you
in the middle of the day.
Though your confidence
may be shattered,
It doesn't matter.

All the great explorers
Are now in granite laid,
Under white sheets
for the great unveiling
At the big parade.

You can really
learn a lot that way
It will change you
in the middle of the day.
Though your confidence
may be shattered,
It doesn't matter.

All the bushleague batters
Are left to die
on the diamond.
In the stands
the home crowd scatters
For the turnstiles,
For the turnstiles,
For the turnstiles.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A week in bed with Peggy Guggenheim and Samuel Beckett

"After dinner Beckett asked to walk her home, and Peggy was somewhat surprised when he took her arm and brought her all the way back to her borrowed apartment. Once there, he asked her to lie down on the sofa with him. They went to bed and stayed there until dinnertime the next day, except for a brief period when Peggy mentioned champagne and Beckett ran out to get some. The idyll was cut short, as Peggy was to meet [Jean] Arp for dinner, and she was unable to cancel because he had no telephone. She was quite discomfited when Beckett left saying, 'Thank you. It was nice while it lasted.'...

Several days passed before Peggy ran into Beckett again on a traffic island in Montparnasse. They went directly to bed (at Mary Reynolds's house, which Peggy had borrowed in the interim) and stayed there for over a week."

From Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim by Mary V. Dearborn, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 2004

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cavolo Nero

I've taken to buying two or three bunches of cavolo nero at the market on Sundays and eating it almost every night of the week. I wash it all at once, roughly chiffonade the whole lot of it, and store it in a big bag so that I can pull out handfuls to toss as a raw salad (dressed with walnut oil and lemon or sesame oil, rice vinegar, and minced ginger), sautee (in olive oil with red chile flakes and a clove of garlic, paired with roasted slices of sweet potato), slowly braise (tossed with whole wheat penne and broiled cherry tomatoes or crumbled and browned Italian sausage), or blanch it (in clear chicken or vegetable broth with garlic and black eyed peas).

Monday, March 23, 2009

What beauties...

A handful of promising (and kind of heart-breakingly lovely!) Los Angeles artists, as photographed by Hedi Slimane for Dazed and Confused...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yes, please...

4 pounds fresh vine-on tomatoes
2 stalks of lemon grass
4 serrano chilis
1 small Bermuda onion
Citrus-flavored vodka

In multiple batches, coarsely chop and puree tomatoes, onion and chilis in a food processor. Add salt to taste. Transfer pulp to a cheesecloth and suspend over a large stockpot. Leave to strain until pulp volume has reduced by two-thirds (about 12 to 24 hours). Makes 1 liter of tomato water.

To make the Bloody Mary: Mix 1.5 ounces of citrus flavored vodka with 5 ounces of tomato water.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh, je souhaite que je pourrais être là...

Cornelius Cardew
et la liberté de l’écoute
Un programme de manifestations

du 5 avril au 27 juin 2009
CAC Bretigny, France

Le Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny propose un programme complet de manifestations qui retrace le parcours artistique du compositeur anglais Cornelius Cardew disparu prématurément en 1981 à l’âge de 45 ans. Le CAC Brétigny et les commissaires proposent d’agir en rupture avec une approche muséale et souhaitent favoriser l’appropriation et l’utilisation par tous, des archives du compositeur à travers une exposition et une série de concerts et de performances qui témoignent de la vivacité de ce travail et de son influence sur la création d’aujourd’hui.

Le commissariat de ces événements proposés au CAC Brétigny d’avril à juin 2009 est confié à Dean Inkster et Jean-Jacques Palix avec l’assistance de Lore Gablier, qui ont organisé dès 2004 au sein de l’école régionale des beaux-arts de Valence plusieurs événements autour de Cardew, notamment des interprétations du paragraphe 7 de The Great Learning et de Walk de Michael Parsons.

Des personnalités de générations différentes, reconnues sur la scène internationale, Nina Canal, Rhys Chatham, Luke Fowler, Michel Guillet, Nadia Lichtig, Michael Morley, Michael Parsons, Lee Ranaldo, Keith Rowe, Marcus Schmickler, Sara Stephenson, Samon Takahashi, Terre Thaemlitz, John Tilbury, Peter Todd et Annie Vigier & Frank Apertet, interpréteront, tout au long de l’exposition, les partitions de Cardew sous des formes variées de performances, de concerts et de projections.

Pierre Bal-Blanc, Directeur CAC Brétigny

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We rolled right past that tragedy...

"Coyote" from the album Hejira by Joni Mitchell, November 1976

No regrets Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance
I'm up all night in the studios
And you're up early on your ranch
You'll be brushing out a brood mare's tail
While the sun is ascending
And I'll just be getting home with my reel to reel
There's no comprehending
Just how close to the bone and the skin and the eyes
And the lips you can get
And still feel so alone
And still feel related
Like stations in some relay
You're not a hit and run driver no no
Racing away
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

We saw a farmhouse burning down
In the middle of nowhere
In the middle of the night
And we rolled right past that tragedy
Till we turned into some road house lights
Where a local band was playing
Locals were up kicking and shaking on the floor
And the next thing I know
That coyote's at my door
He pins me in a corner and he won't take no
He drags me out on the dance floor
And we're dancing close and slow
Now he's got a woman at home
He's got another woman down the hall
He seems to want me anyway
Why'd you have to get so drunk
And lead me on that way
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

I looked a coyote right in the face
On the road to Baljennie near my old home town
He went running thru the whisker wheat
Chasing some prize down
And a hawk was playing with him
Coyote was jumping straight up and making passes
He had those same eyes just like yours
Under your dark glasses
Privately probing the public rooms
And peeking thru keyholes in numbered doors
Where the players lick their wounds
And take their temporary lovers
And their pills and powders to get them thru this passion play
No regrets Coyote
I just get off up aways
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

Coyote's in the coffee shop
He's staring a hole in his scrambled eggs
He picks up my scent on his fingers
While he's watching the waitresses' legs
He's too far from the Bay of Fundy
From appaloosas and eagles and tides
And the air conditioned cubicles
And the carbon ribbon rides
Are spelling it out so clear
Either he's going to have to stand and fight
Or take off out of here
I tried to run away myself
To run away and wrestle with my ego
And with this flame
You put here in this Eskimo
In this hitcher
In this prisoner
Of the fine white lines
Of the white lines on the free free way

(Pictured is JM performing Coyote on
November 25, 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco where The Band staged their final concert. The image is from Martin Scorsese's film of the concert, "The Last Waltz". Hejira has become one of my soundtracks to the desert. Couldn't decide whether to post this or "Amelia" here. They both resonate with me today, so here's "Amelia", too... )

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's not about dreams...

I am spending a few days in the desert and brought a few movies with me in case I wanted that sort of distraction. Turns out I did, and last night I watched Robert Altman's 3 Women. I had seen it before, but not in a long time. Coincidentally, the film is set in a fictional town that is based on the one that I am in. I hadn't remembered that when I picked it up, so it was a surprise when the first scenes of the area appeared. There is an aquifer beneath this town, so people come here to take the waters. There is something strange about this incredible water in the middle of the desert, and 3 Women uses the dry, minimal landscape combined with the idea of healing water to explore and metaphorically describe the landscape of femininity and the societal positions of women. The three main characters are Millie, Pinky, and Willie, but they all get wrapped up in Millie by the end of the film, and it made me think a lot about the way men think about women and the ways in which women think about themselves. Between the three of them, the characters present just about every female stereotype. They are also always changing and exchanging characteristics, presenting a stereotype in itself, that of the maleable, chameleon-like female personality. These women are foreigners to themselves, each other, and to others around them. They have no tools and perhaps no desire to understand themselves, and they are therefore constantly constructing their personalities through the materiality at hand. It is an immediate and swift kind of self-recognition and adaptation, and it is acutely disturbing in its familiarity. Watching the film again last night reminded me that I had been part of the audience for a filmed performance made as part of a series of films by Amy Granat and Emily Sundblad that included a projection of 3 Women as a backdrop. Driving with Granat and Sundblad to dinner afterward in their rented car felt kind of like the movie, all of us wondering who we are all at once and perpetually making it up as we go along.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blood Oranges

The blood oranges that I have been getting at farmer's markets this year are phenomenal. The color of the flesh is always a pleasant shock, and the flavor is unlike any other variety of orange. There is almost a spice to it, and its depth is unparalleled in citrus. Last weekend, Canele was serving mimosas with freshly made blood orange juice. I don't care for the usual mimosa, but when my friends ordered them and I saw the color, I asked for one too. It was delicious. Citrus season is almost over, I suppose, so I think I will stockpile some blood oranges and preserve them in salt. But before that, I'm going to try a compote to spoon over goat cheese and crushed pistachios as a dessert. Soon, asparagus and lilacs will make their delightful, brief appearance, but till then I'm really digging the blood oranges.