Eighty years on from the day anti-fascists clashed with Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the Jewish East End of London, David Rosenberg tells the story of the long struggle to protect the giant mural. Link to the Brick Lane Bookshop's article, and to more info about the founding of Tower Hamlet's Art Project, which still seems to be going in some form in the middle of our current 'austerity'. The story of the mural touches on world history*, community involvement, political activism, shared values*, spirit of place, and continuity. It's a fine example of the interaction between local and global; and perhaps of the legacy of Britain's now threatened, always contested, post-war socialist idealism. [more inside]
You might call it the "small town struggle." The problem tiny communities have with getting noticed. The Tank is an acoustical marvel, a senses-altering experience found nowhere else on earth. A 60′ tall, 30′ across rusted steel water tank – never used – was discovered in Colorado by sound artist and sonic thinker Bruce Odland in 1976. [more inside]
"Astronauts onboard Apollo 10 say they heard mysterious "music" on the dark side of the moon. They didn't know if they were hearing things and were left wondering if music really was coming from behind the moon. The answer is - sort of - but not really. They could hear an "outer space-type" droning musical sound when they went around the back of the moon at the end of the 1960s and say they were worried nobody would believe them". CNN news piece with short clip of the sound.
The home of late artist/illustrator Maurice Sendak may or may not become a museum. It may be more difficult to house a wild thing than it would seem. Controversy broils over Sendak's disputed legacy.
Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Playwright Katori Hall responds to a production of her play, The Mountaintop where the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been double-cast the role of King with a black actor and a white one.
Many have heard of Brian Eno and David Byrne's album "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts," but perhaps fewer have read the Book by Amos Tutuola, or its companion book "The Palm Wine Drinkard," described as "Aside from the transmogrified strangeness of folk and fairy tales ... unlike almost anything else in print."
The voluntary nature of friendship makes it subject to life’s whims in a way more formal relationships aren’t. In adulthood, as people grow up and go away, friendships are the relationships most likely to take a hit. You’re stuck with your family, and you’ll prioritize your spouse. But where once you could run over to Jonny’s house at a moment’s notice and see if he could come out to play, now you have to ask Jonny if he has a couple hours to get a drink in two weeks. [more inside]
WNEW Sunday News Closeup interview with Marcy, November 1967. Sampled by various artists including Meat Beat Manifesto and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.
A girl at the beach, one year before WWI. In 1913, Amateur photographer Mervyn O'Gorman took beautiful, vivid photos of his daughter using an early color photography process called autochrome. [more inside]
It's been a long winter, everyone's a little loopy, and that's probably as good a reason as any for the Internet to have delved into the 30th anniversary of "We Are the World" a bit more (and more entertainingly) than strictly necessary: [more inside]
The celebrated Australian author Colleen McCullough, probably best known for The Thorn Birds, has died at 77. McCullough's contribution to writing contributed well after her most famous book and she will be sadly missed. What has caused ire has been the way that her obituary was written in the Australian national newspaper, The Australian, where the second line refers to her physical beauty and weight. The Guardian compares this with other obituaries of people who do not have to be classified by weight or beauty or, as you would know them, men.
Catherine the Great had a room decorated with penises and vaginas. The furniture has vanished, but some pictures (NSFW) remain
Pantone has announced that 18-1438 aka Marsala, is the color of the year for 2015. Here's how they decided, although not everyone approves. Fast Company offers some alternate names.
Pantone Color of the year, previously – 2014: Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Forecasting
Pantone Color of the year, previously – 2014: Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Forecasting
The first son is named Royce, the second son is named Preston, the third son is named Lance And Blake (two names for just one son), and the fourth son is the dreaded Laramie. Which one of my toxic sons are you? Take this quiz to find out!
Steve Albini on the current state of the music industry: "It was the beginning of what we would call the peer network. By mid-90s there were independent labels and distributors moving millions of dollars of records and CDs. And there was a healthy underground economy of bands making a reasonable income owing to the superior efficiencies of the independent methods... So, that was the system as it was. That’s what we lost when the internet made everything available everywhere for free. And make no mistake about it, we have lost it. But for a minute I want you to look at the experience of music from a fan’s perspective, post-internet. Music that is hard to find was now easy to find. In response I had more access to music than I had ever imagined... This audience-driven music distribution has other benefits. Long-forgotten music has been given a second life. And bands whose music that was ahead of its time has been allowed to reach a niche audience that the old mass distribution failed to find for them, as one enthusiast turns on the next and this forgotten music finally gets it due." [more inside]
Bathsheba Sherman is best known as the Satanic witch who murdered her infant and then hanged herself from a tree, thus cursing her property and all its future inhabitants. The true story of a couple haunted by her demonic presence inspired the 2013 movie The Conjuring. Except how true was the story? Historian J'aime Rubio writes up The True Story of Bathsheba Sherman. [more inside]
Noting the passing Saturday of Eric S. Lynch, a.k.a. Eric the Actor, a.k.a. Eric the Midget, a regular caller to The Howard Stern Show. [more inside]
The Loudest Word in Rock and Roll: "In a lot of ways it's really perfect and very cool, almost gang-like: 'We are The Stooges or The Kinks or The Sisters of Mercy.' The mind-set is, 'There is only one of us and we are it and we are gonna do it our way, no mercy.'" [more inside]
Previously, on Metafilter, we met Jeff Highsmith, who designed and built a pseudo Apollo Mission Control panel play desk for his son. He's done it again, with a "spacecraft" for his other son.
Jane Feltes was a producer for This American Life. She changed her name, left TAL, and became a coeditor at The Hairpin, where she created the How to Be a Girl series that included Beauty Q&A; the Friday Bargain Bin, in which Jane told us how to spend our weekly allowance; and a collection of beauty tutorial videos, the highlight of which might possibly be The Cat Eye Tutorial for its use of office supplies and magic. Office supplies as magic? Jane also came up with Women Struggling to Drink Water (previously). Jane left The Hairpin in 2013 and currently writes a beauty column for Rookie as a well as the occasional longer piece, such as the inspirational and practical (for teens and adults) A Guide to Finding Yourself. She also has a weekly column with Cosmopolitan in which she talks to married couples and gets them to share insight into their lives together: The Secret Life of Marrieds. [more inside]
A touching sad comic about how one woman dealt with her sexual assault. (slMedium) (TW: recounting of rape)
Damon Albarn talks about each track on Everyday Robots. Damon Albarn has released Everyday Robots (reviews here, here, and here), his first "official" solo album (I guess Democrazy doesn't count). He talks about every track on SoundCloud.
Please, critics, write about the filmmaking Movies and television are visual art forms, and aural art forms. They are not just about plot, characterization and theme. Analytical writing about movies and TV should incorporate some discussion of the means by which the plot is advanced, the characters developed, the themes explored. It should devote some space, some small bit of the word count, to the compositions, the cutting, the music, the decor, the lighting, the overall rhythm and mood of the piece.
(Mildly NSFW-ish lyrics) Youtube user strizzalo does a slow, sensitive, acoustic cover of The Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch."
On January 21, The Days of Anna Madrigal, the last in the Tales of the City series, will be released. [more inside]
Lava flow connects new islet with Nishinoshima island A new islet formed by volcanic activity in late November in the Ogasawara island chain far south of Tokyo (halfway to Guam) has now grown and connected to neighboring Nishinoshima island. Spectacular footage of magma eruptions. [more inside]
A short video clip about an artist who takes pictures of stranges acting like they're old friends or lovers or relatives. Surprisingly touching and beautiful photos ensue.
"This year of grace, 2013, sees the 150th anniversary of the London Underground Railway (tube). In honour of this occasion, we thought we would give you a little church crawl around the circle line...Over the coming weeks we will take you around each station on the Circular line and show you not only the station, but also a church and a place of interest, so that those of you who are impeded by distance or other reasons from seeing the delights that central London has to offer in the flesh may not be bereft of some of the experience." The Watts Church Crawl. [more inside]
The Wire Poster Project features posters for each of the epigrams preceding each episode. Benefits go the Baltimore Urban Debate League.
Writer Ann Morgan set herself a challenge – to read a book from every country in the world in one year. She describes the experience and what she learned. Here is her blog
I wonder where the garbage goes ? (slyt)
Charles Bock examines how underground comics helped give rise to TV's Archer and reviews the series in a post-Sideshow Bob world. (First link contains NSWF embedded YT videos.)
What is the Internet anyway? What is Internet, anyway? What is the Internet? What is the Internet, really? [more inside]
The Beatles Performing Shakespeare. In 1964, the Fab Four added another art under their belt — live theater — when they performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in color, to the sound of shouting hecklers (scripted, part of the play) and someone yelling “Go back to Liverpool!” (unscripted, decidedly unshakespearean).
On September 24th Radiolab posted a new episode, The Fact of the Matter. It included a segment titled Yellow Rain. Radiolab's website says that it's "a detective story from the Cold War, about a mysterious substance that fell from the sky in Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam war." Robert Krulwich's interview with two of the segment's guests has prompted outrage at his treatment of them. One of the guests, writer Kao Kalia Yang, talked with Hyphen Magazine.
The Maker. A gorgeous short stop-motion animation about a creature who has only one important mission (SLYT) [more inside]
Explore the subtext of the London Skyline through a journey down the Thames with Caryl Phillips and an exquisite photographer.
The Smiths are never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to reunite - ever. [more inside]
In 2008, Nebraska decriminalized child abandonment. Within just weeks of the law passing, parents started dropping off their kids. But here's the rub: None of them were infants. Twenty-two of the children were over 13 years old. The Atlantic explores why not wanting kids is totally normal.
Lisa Kristine, a photographer, gives a thoughtful and very moving talk on the extent of modern day slavery in this TEDx talk. The photos she shows are absolutely beautiful and the bare-bones stories behind them are exceptionally hard to hear at times. The group she is working with, Free the Slaves, seems to be doing a lot of good work and working on real solutions for the people involved (such as the one example she gives where the slaves that were freed carried on doing the same work, the only work they had ever known, but rent the quarry themselves and are now the recipients of the profits etc). She has published a book with these photos as well and it's available on her website.
In 1982 Actor/Director John Cassavetes gave up a long weekend to star in a film student's short. The end product, The Haircut, is a charming, nearly magical, story of a man going for a haircut and getting much more. The director,Tamar Simon Hoffs, had a daughter Susannah who played in a band then called The Bangs, later The Bangles, who appear near the finish.
Matt Stroud, Wrote an amazing article on The Verge: Wasteland: the 50-year battle to entomb our toxic nuclear remains
Well-stamped passport leave you feeling jaded? Think Lagos, NIGERIA: Flash Violence, 3rd largest city by 2025, Paul McCartney? Do you relish in telling tales of travel to hellish places? Maybe there's a place you havent been, so choked with people, pollution and poverty you will feel ashamed to discuss it. Paul McCartney couldn't hack it. It sent his band On The Run. Ok still not dissuaded? Know before you Go
The Spear, a painting by South African artist Brett Murray is causing quite a stir. The painting is the subject of an attempted ban by the South African president, Jacob Zuma, according to the article and a general accusation of racism by the ANC leadership which has led at least one interesting response in the blogosphere.