Archive for February, 2012
The run of this first-ever adaption of Ellison’s Invisible Man closes this week at the Court Theater. For a glimpse of Teagle Bougere’s moving performance and the remarkable overall production HERE is a good clip, courtesy of the official website.
A great story about Miles Davis and “My Funny Valentine,” told with impactful F-bombs.
Thanks to Teagle Bougere and Chris McElroen for the link.
Friends Ed and Margot Ryan were walking with their children to get a camera at Adorama this morning and they noticed this scene in the window of Academy Records next door. Being in between Robert Johnson and the Met Opera just about nails it.
Thank you, Ed and Margot.
Tomorrow I’m giving a public talk at noon. More information can be found on the University of Chicago’s Events page.
I’m working on a piece for Paris Review that afforded me the opportunity to receive in yesterday’s mail and hold in my hands one extraordinary object: the deluxe box set of Over the Rhine‘s remarkable 2011 album, “The Long Surrender,” produced by Joe Henry. It was at the top of my list of favorite recordings last year. The deluxe set includes vinyl, cd, and a 32-page LP-sized book with magnificent photographs by Michael Wilson. It’s a moving work of art – the music, the photography, the care and attention and love so evident and powerful.
In 2006 I went to see Wilco at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill. At the time I was sporting a cast and crutches after falling and breaking my ankle in the subway at 86th and Broadway that January. It was a struggle to make it to the show. Because of my handicap the kind folks at Memorial allowed me to sit in an individual chair on the first row of the balcony. I basically had the best seat in the house for what was a terrific show. But what I remember most about that night is being stopped dead by the cover of Glenn Kotche’s album, “Mobile,” which was displayed on the merchandise table. It features a photograph of Kotche’s hand. When I first saw it I thought it was a flower. I bought the cd, saw the credit for Michael Wilson, reached out to him, and bought a print of that photograph. Since then I’ve become a big fan of his work. He achieves a certain light in his work, no matter the subject, that is unmistakably his own.
Kate wandered upon this amusing scene in a magazine stand recently. That’s the current issue of Tin House, which has my latest piece on Sonny Clark, and sitting there is also the Paris Review, whose Daily I contribute to (including once with Kate).
Folklorist Sarah Bryan shared this photograph with me this week. She first saw it in an exhibition in Goldsboro, N.C. at Cherry Hospital which was originally named Asylum for Colored Insane. The Asylum was founded in 1877 by the North Carolina General Assembly. After admitting its first patient in 1880 the name was changed several times and it became Cherry Hospital in 1959. I grew up 65 miles east of Goldsboro. When I was a kid, if you did something deemed stupid or crazy, people would say, “Keep doing that and you’ll end up in Cherry Hospital.” Thelonious Monk’s father spent the last two or three decades of his life there; hence, my original specific interest, which Sarah knew about. But this photograph makes me think of a lot more work to be done beyond Thelonious, Sr. You can make out some nurses in the background of the photo.
Along with the regrettable social and political impetus and ramifications of the existence of this institution at its inception, I’m haunted by what might be the date of this photograph. On the wall next to the picture there was an ambiguous card indicating the picture may date to 1900. If true, it could complicate some elements of jazz history. To my knowledge, brass sections like this weren’t known to exist in places like rural North Carolina. I’m not enough of a historian of this period to verify the date by the clothing.