31 January 2016

May be dusting off WKMA a little on 2016 US Presidential and other preoccupations..

11 January 2016

Recent musical deaths

I've been listening to Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, the Cuban trumpeter who played for Arsenio Rodriguez, Conjunto Chappottín, Benny Moré, etc. and just passed away at the age of 88, for a couple of years now after someone here finally told me to.. "La Brocha" is currently my favorite with him as a band leader..

Posts on Boulez here and here.. hopefully more to come including a longwinded draft I wrote after an irritating review of another composer's concert a while back and something else.. + Paul Bley if you haven't heard.

Update: + Mr Bowie 

my favorite Bowie song

19 December 2015

What's up for five more days

The 50th anniversary restoration of Pierrot le Fou (I, II) is onscreen in NYC, which involved the lack of a negative or an orginal sound track among other daunting problems.  During shooting in 1966 the film's finances hadn't been secured ahead of time and Raoul Coutard insisted on utilizing the new technology of widescreen Techniscope color, after the last three features (Band of Outsiders, A Married Woman and Alphaville) were b/w, which involved more elaborate lighting setups, stressing Godard and the crew, but for now you can see projected Coutard's framing of the Riviera to 'Elle est retrouvée./ Quoi? - L'Éternité./ C'est la mer allée/ Avec le soleil.' Godard's sparing use of its source novel played up whatever natural psycho-social resemblance it had to Rimbaud's A Season in Hell, prompting its protagonist to tell a cocktail party given over sit-comedically to statements of consumerism that his senses weren't integrated, to be told by the guest he talks too much, to the various direct and indirect references thereafter.

Adapting dozens of literary sources at once, not sure why or which one to settle on, would plant the seeds of his recent style, and Godard reflected that Pierrot le Fou, arising out of his despair and confusion, was 'his first film,' coming after the genre structures of Alphaville (still my favorite) and Band of Outsiders (Americanized as Pulp Fiction) .  My favorite Welles film was The Lady from Shanghai, a bitter genre film of romantic betrayal starring his recent ex Rita Hayworth based very loosely on its novel, and though Anna Karina wasn't his first choice immediately after she left him for a mediocre director, Godard is even less restrained in abandoning genre to vent this emotions through the image of his ex.   Welles' Chimes at Midnight is also arriving in restored form Jan. 1 after its distribution rights have been blocked for years, and I've only seen bootleg versions and old vhs rental copies of it.

17 December 2015

What's up for two more days and an hour or two

I posted hastily the other day and forgot the Joan Mitchell show, for which there's a big sign across the street from Marian Goodman while you're on your way to Matta and DAG, and the Frank O'Hara friend theme can be extended with Jane Freilicher and Joe Brainard around the corner. After her therapist tells her not to spend another summer in the Hamptons but to go to Paris, she becomes romantically involved with Riopelle and shows in several US museums  the following winter, 1959-60. They fly back to the US/Canada repeatedly and I presume Harbor December (left) is from one of their sailing outings in Long Island.  Her treatment of water, air, and boats reminds me of Monet (they lived in Giverny), and this show features her 1959 oil Goulphur I, of the lighthouse of the island of Belle-Île which Monet frequently painted in the 1870s and 80s.  Rodin described the Breton coast as "a Monet" and the Grand Vallée series of the mid-1980s  was inspired by "a friend, who recounts to her that a young cousin, on his deathbed, said he dreamed of returning to the Grand Vallée in Brittany, where the two had spent their childhood."  It has seemed to me that in her late years she painted emotional distance, of which the gaze back into childhood is one.