Aretha: How to Be A Soul Survivor

Soul Survivor, David Remnick’s moving profile of complex, mysterious, brilliant, notoriously infuriating singer Aretha Franklin, sent us looking for videos of the great diva in action. We stumbled on this rough beauty of seventy-something Aretha playing piano herself, in a mode that was more churchlike gospel – her roots — than theater performance. If you’re tired or troubled, or need uplift to your day, her groove will hearten you.

Read More

Inspiration + Improvisation from Mozart in the Jungle

(Video link here.) We spent part of the weekend binge watching the truly funny, inspired Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon, about what happens when a young, brash, wildly creative maestro takes the helm of a symphony orchestra. It is rich with inspired moments —and improvisation —, like the beauty above. We’re thinking that the mission the maestro gives his assistant is…

Read More

We’re Back, Fly with Us!

(Video link here.) A friend sent us this video of Domenico Modugno singing Volare – Nel blu dipinto di blu, a song we’ve heard (and disliked) a million times; we just couldn’t get with Dean Martin. But Modugno’s 1958 version of the song HE wrote is pure joy. It made us look up translations of…

Read More

How to Survive a Heat Wave

All over town we’re seeing signs of people felled by the stunning heat wave, sleeping on benches under shady trees, lounging lethargically on the grass in parks. We’ve found ourselves working at partial power, desperately needing to nap and recuperate. We’ve found two unexpected antidotes.

Read More

Is-ness and Poetry via The Wire

Derek Donahue found all of the tautologies —phrases in which the same thing is said twice —from the great, gritty HBO series The Wire and supercut them into one video. When we wrote a few down, they seemed more like some seriously ‘street’, existential koans: succinct paradoxical statements used for meditation in Buddhism. Here are our favorites, ESPECIALLY the rather cosmic ones at the bottom. They can be reshuffled to form curiously illuminating poems.

Read More

Jimi Hendrix From Here to THERE

(Video link here.)  If you look closely, you’ll see Jimi Hendrix in the backline of Buddy & Stacy doing “Shotgun” on a 1965 Night Train Television Show: a curiously invigorating Monday morning wakeup. In just a few years, Hendrix came a LONG way to his wild, passionate, loud, bluesy, no-holds-barred, pushng-all-limits, seriously-amplified music,

Read More

Posts navigation