“The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.” • Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
On daily to-do list: add ‘hypotyposis’ [vivid picturesque description] to long vocabulary list.
I started following Top 40 lists on pop radio stations when I was 8. Some are fascinated by the patterns we see in the stars, some in why autumn leaves turn brown, why love affairs go sour, why males are driven crazy by women’s breasts and why some bet on football games or collect Barbies in their original packaging, I was interested in the order of pop music.
I kept my own lists, ear flush to my red transistor, listening to ABC-AM or the WMCA “Good Guys” waiting for the announcement of the next song, scribbling it down in it’s position in the Top 40 on a lined page with a flashlight propped up on my pillow. I stole 9v batteries from the Acme Super Market to keep the radio going late into the night as if turning it off might mean missing a secret message from the ether about my place in the universe or a mantra that will lead to a level of nirvana accorded only the nerdy among us.
The Insane Dutch Tradition
of Writing Poems For Sinter Klaas
by bart plantenga
The Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus comes on December 5, which is celebrated by the giving of gifts, each of which [technically] should come with a RHYMING poem written about the receiver by the giver, usually in a humorous, somewhat mocking tone. This leads to a lot of stress and all sort of online rhyming dictionary site crashing. Not something sane, well-meaning people need during this already busy period of the year… Here is my 2015 version of this inherent stressful event, which we celebrated a day early because Nina is on her way to Paris Climate Summit COP21.
Listen now as you read
“A silent man, walking in solitude by a mountain stream… We begin to see what is real and what really deserves our allegiance.” • Gary Snyder
The first disc I’d bring along to a deserted island is this one – along with The Gentle Side of John Coltrane and Ascenseur pour l’échafaud by Miles Davis. Never mind that I only have Shout on a poor-quality cassette. In 1999, I was asked to participate in an art exhibit entitled “Small Objects That Changed Your Life” in De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam. I placed this tape with the below self-made cover – a small detail clipped from a Bruegel painting in a magazine + a dried Paris leaf – into the exhibit with a short explanation. That I never hesitate to mention it when this question comes up is impressive since I have listened to literally thousands of songs and albums and whenever someone asks for a Top 10 of anything, I usually come up with a Top 25 + a mea culpa. There are so many deserving records, so many under-listened-to artists. And yet…
by Anla Courtis
review by Mark McCawley
Artist: Anla Courtis
Album: B-rain Folklore
Country: Tokyo, Japan
Genre: Experimental, Classical, Folk, World
Label: Yogoh Record
Release date: 21 Jan 2015
The very best experimental music should take the listener on an entirely new sonic journey with each new hearing and withstand repeated listening. Anla Courtis achieves both with the ten tracks which make up his 2015 release, B-rain Folklore. Virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, Courtis performs all the instruments on B-rain Folklore — guitars, toba and homemade violin, erkencho (folk clarinet hornpipe), marimbas, mouth harp, flutes, plastic trumpets, flugelhorn, bombo legüero (drum), caja chayera, sikus (panpipes), bells, tapes, toy guitar, bau, objects & processing.
Life is Now:
The Art and Music
of Michael Alan
by Mark McCawley
“Mostly figurative, and based on the performances, the drawings here suggest an artist enthralled by improvisation. Alan’s thread-like lines are manically impulsive; they barely go an inch without detouring. Short, jagged strokes, tiny loops, and quick arcs make jittery, skeletal outlines of distorted human forms. Hasty daubs of blues and pinks wrap the frames with translucent skin while also conveying the blur of movement. Alan loves motion…”
–Robert Shuster, The Village Voice, Tuesday, July 20, 2010