Thursday, December 16, 2010


fave recent find: sounds like Träd Gräs & Stenar crossed with Os Mutantes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

magnetic tales


time is on my side

"The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death… our existence can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light."

— Stanley Kubrick

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cine móvil

"Filed away in the Centro de Documentación at the Cineteca Nacional are promotional brochures from 1975, records of an orange-saturated world of geometric-patterned carpets that hasn’t existed for thirty years. The Cineteca caught fire in 1982, less than ten years after opening, its entire collection destroyed. (Within Mexico, the cause of this “cultural crime” is still officially listed as unknown, although those inclined to paranoia whisper that it was sabotage, the obliteration of a country’s past. Legend has it that the print of the Polish film playing when the fire started was somehow salvaged from the rubble, and that everywhere it’s shown a fire breaks out.)

The Cine Móvil program sent mobile cinema units ambling around rural Mexico in those pre-fire years, bringing ‘buen cine mexicano’ to small villages that often didn’t even have electricity, let alone a movie theatre. There were three different vans with three different routes, outfitted with four-wheel drive (“taking the abruptness of our geography into consideration”) and with room for two: beds, a bathroom, a kitchen, storage space for the projection equipment, a small film archive, workbench, screens, sound equipment. The young projectionists lived in the vans for the month it took to wind their way through the countryside, traveling from town to town during the day, setting up their equipment for a screening each night and making super 8 documentary films on those they encountered."


hard travelin'

the gambling man is rich and the working man is poor.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

dancing plague of 1518

The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and, over the period of about one month, most of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

The outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Frau Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg. This lasted somewhere between four to six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers. Many of these people eventually died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

Historical documents, including "physician notes, cathedral sermons, local and regional chronicles, and even notes issued by the Strasbourg city council" are clear that the victims danced. It is not known why these people danced to their deaths, nor is it clear that they were dancing willfully.

As the dancing plague worsened, concerned nobles sought the advice of local physicians, who ruled out astrological and supernatural causes, instead announcing that the plague was a "natural disease" caused by "hot blood". However, instead of prescribing bleeding, authorities encouraged more dancing, in part by opening two guildhalls and a grain market, and even constructing a wooden stage. The authorities did this because they believed that the dancers would only recover if they danced continually night and day. To increase the effectiveness of the cure, authorities even paid for musicians to keep the afflicted moving.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

sleeping sickness

The Insect Musicians (1986) is an album performed and produced by Graeme Revell. It is a symphony of tsetse fly, deaths-head hawkmoth, bog bush cricket, screech beetle, queen bee laying eggs, and 35 other insect sounds collected from around the world. Revell saw the potential for insects as an auditory art medium : « Perhaps the most fecund territory for future explorations in art and music lies in the miniature; in detailed experiments with nuances of rhythm and timber, detail and colour. And perhaps the ultimate horizon of technology is Nature itself.


Added bonus for me: it's almost what an epidemic sounds like.

all alone in her nirvana

now that's some psychedelic shit.

Via my new favorite blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

group therapy


Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to office one hundred years apart (1860 and 1960). Their presidencies ended with their assassinations. They were both succeeded by southern democrats named Johnson (Andrew and Lyndon B.). Their last names each have seven letters. They both campaigned by debating their opponents. In their respective elections, Illinois was the deciding state. A major issue in each of their presidencies involved the struggle between states’ rights and civil rights. Lincoln’s secretary’s name was Kennedy and she warned him against going to the theater. Kennedy’s secretary’s name was Lincoln and she warned him against going to Dallas. John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln in a theater and hid in a warehouse, whereas Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy from a warehouse and hid in a theater. Both assassins are known by their three names. Both presidents were assassinated on a Friday in the presence of their wives. Also, both presidents had dreams in which they saw their own deaths.


"According to the gospel of Mark, believers "shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." It is believed in some southern American Pentecostal churches that if a person truly has the Holy Spirit within them, they should be able to handle rattlesnakes and other venomous serpents. Snake handling is used as a test or demonstration of faith."

(National Archives and Records Administration)

Jim Neel

Thursday, October 14, 2010

soon-to-be invisible cities

what happens to ghost towns in the desert.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

scenes from the south island

"Now I shall tell of the city of Zenobia, which is wonderful in this fashion: though set on dry terrain it stands on high pilings, and the houses are of bamboo and zinc, with many platforms and balconies placed on stilts at various heights, crossing one another, linked by ladders and hanging sidewalks, surmouted by cone-roofed belvederes, barrels storing water, weather vanes, jutting pulleys, and fish poles, and cranes."

".. it is pointless trying to decide whether Zenobia is to be classified among happy cities or among the unhappy. It makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give their form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it."

trading cities

In Chloe, a great city, the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping.

A girl comes along, twirling a parasol on her shoulder, and twirling slightly also her rounded hips. A woman in black comes along, showing her full age, her eyes restless beneath her veil, her lips trembling. A tattooed giant comes along; a young man with white hair; a female dwarf; two girls, twins, dressed in coral. Something runs among them, an exchange of glances like lines that connect one figure with another and draw arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come onto the scene: a blind man with a cheetah on a leash, a courtesan with an ostrich-plume fan, an ephebe, a Fat Woman. And thus, when some people happen to find themselves together, taking shelter from the rain under an arcade, or crowding beneath an awning of the bazaar, or stopping to listen to the band in the sqare, meetings, seductions, copulations, orgies are consummated among them without a word exchanged, without a finger touching anything, almost without an eye raised.

A voluptuous vibration constantly stirs Chloe, the most chaste of cities. If men and women began to live their ephemeral dreams, every phantom would become a person with whom to begin a story or pursuits, pretenses, misunderstandings, clashes, oppressions, and the carousel of fantasies would stop.

- Italo Calvino

stars over silos

clarksdale, MS