Friday, October 23, 2009

Image of the Day

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Apropos of this and this:

Darius Kinsey: Cedar Stump House, Edgecombe, WA, 1901.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

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With his hands in his pockets and his pockets in his pants.

Byron G. Harlan With His Hands In His Pockets (And His Pockets In His Pants) mp3 (1917, Edison Blue Amberol cylinder recording no.3124)

Return to Sawdust Mountain

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Eirik Johnson: Scrapped train, Arlington, Washington, from Sawdust Mountain – Johnson's series of photographs exploring man's impact on the Northwest's natural environment. A selection of photographs from the series is on view at the Henry Art Gallery (opening party tonight!) and a book is available from Aperture:



Visit Eirik Johnson's website to see more of his work.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Haunting Mysterious Sensual etc.

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The Egyptian Theater is playing
The Hunger at midnight this Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24.

A Product I Wholeheartedly Endorse,
Available in Your Local Grocery Store

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I just wanted to take a quick break from all the chicness and other items of interest to let readers know about a product that has changed my life, and I'm not even kidding: Tabasco Brand Smoked Chipotle Pepper Sauce is, in my opinion, the best and most versatile hot sauce on the market. It goes on everything: toast, eggs, hashbrowns, sandwich, meats, broccoli, cauliflower, mussels, piece of cheese, iceberg wedge with blue cheese, bloody maria, michelada, mussels, a cracker. I like a wide variety of hot sauces but this is the ruler of them all. The McIlhenny Family of Avery Island, Louisiana should feel very proud because its packaging is well-designed and its products, especially this one, are so exceedingly good that they only need to be marketed on the merits. I am considering rigging up a special pocket in my pants so I can bring a bottle with me wherever I go. You should go get some too. Do it immediately. Put it on your lunch. Thank me later.

I'll Take You In Pieces

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The XX "Basic Space" – catchy.

Image of the Day

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A 1936 stainless steel Ford concept car, at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division National Fall Meet, earlier this month in Hershey, PA. Photo Richard S. Chang from an article at The New York Times.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's Next

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Celine by Phoebe Philo, SS2010
[ click to enlarge / more at Fashionologie ]

Back in June Emily posted about Phoebe Philo's first outing in the four years since she left Chloé, an extremely well-crafted cruise collection for the French fashion house Celine. I know it's killing Em to not be able to follow up with a post about Philo's first full Celine collection, shown a few weeks ago in Paris, but she's in school now and too busy to trifle with such things – so in lieu of her brilliant fashion coverage, I thought I'd post this video (half for her, half for you). Backstage at the show, the International Herald Tribune's lovable Suzy Menkes interviews Phoebe Philo about her excellent Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Click to watch at nytimes.com:

"The Lilliputian Canvas
of the American Experience"

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Matchbooks from the collection of Bill Retskin, founder of the American Matchcover Collecting Club, in Asheville, NC. Retskin has over one million matchbooks in his collection, and one gigantic blunt slicing thumbnail. Photo Rebecca D'Angelo/NYT.

There's an article in the New York Times this morning about a purported resurgence of bars and restaurants offering matches to their patrons. (I only say purported because the Times has a way of highlighting trends that sound good, but sometimes do not pan out as real trends...but hey, when they sound good, I'm in.)

For whatever reason Emily and I have always been fanatical about getting matchbooks from bars and restaurants when they're available – rarely the case since smoking bans have dominoed across the country. For the record, I was opposed to the smoking ban in New York – I don't smoke, I just always thought bars should be smokey – but I realized soon after it went into effect that it was a good thing because it meant less trips to the laundromat. Some other time I will explain how I came to the decision to not smoke cigarettes. I still like to get matchbooks, though, because sometimes other things need to be set on fire, and I like how they look. It's a small graphic space that presents interesting design possibilities, for one, and for two, I am a sentimental dude, as readers undoubtedly know by now. Matchbooks seem old. Incidentally, it's a great feature of many bars in Seattle that they still offer matchbooks.

All of that to say that the article is worth reading – click here to check it out. And why don't we all please make a concerted effort to start asking for matchbooks so they stick around and/or come back.

It's funny they included a Virgil's matchbook in the article. No one likes to admit that Virgil's has some of the best barbecue in New York, because it's right next to Times Square, and it's a multi-story restaurant full of tourists – but they do, especially when immediately preceded by a visit to Jimmy's Corner:

That's Jimmy with Muhammad Ali in the big photo above the bar.

Image of the Day

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An Allen Ginsberg photograph of Jack Kerouac,
who died 40 years ago today at the age of 47.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Image of the Day

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Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which celebrates its 50th anniversary tomorrow, October 21st.

Pushing Closer

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The Arnold children of Michigan Hill, Thurston County, Western Washington, August 1939. The oldest boy earned the money to buy his bicycle. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.

Art historian Jordan Bear has interesting piece in Bookforum on two new books about photographer Dorothea Lange.
Here's an excerpt I found particularly interestin
g:
Of Walker Evans, the preeminent American documentarian, with whose work Lange’s would be constantly—and nearly always unfavorably—compared, she claimed, “He doesn’t go any closer than just so far . . . which can be a man’s strength.” By contrast, she said of herself, “I can never go close enough . . . I push close. It’s right for me.” Lange cast herself and Evans as representing the outer markers of documentary photography: Where Evans was detached, indifferent, even unfeeling, she was engaged, politically and emotionally, with her subjects, evincing her own, very different kind of strength....
And:
Linda Gordon’s biography Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits...emphasizes the similarity of Lange to the responsible historian: Both produce representations that aspire to accuracy but acknowledge the inherent limitations of that pursuit. The available choices in cropping, posing, emphasis, and scale are not, Gordon claims, “so different from historians’ decisions in writing books or lesson plans.” Even in Lange’s most penetrating portraits, Gordon postulates, there remains an impervious stratum that prevents complete understanding, an outer shell that protects the agency of even the abject sitter. As close as Lange might “push,” her pictures never presume to know the entirety of what they show. And this, to Gordon’s mind, is one of the great strengths of the photographs, for it demonstrates that Lange’s notion of the documentary mode was self-critical and democratic, rejecting the fantasy of omniscience and embracing the sanctity of privacy available to even the wretched among us.
Visit bookforum.com to read the whole thing (free registration required). The two books reviewed (click for more info) are Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field, by Anne Whiston Spirn, and Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, by Linda Gordon. Might have to pick those up.

Brangin' it on home, here's a selection of Dorothea Lange photographs taken in Washington State during the month of August, 1939 – all
via the rabbit hole that is your Library of Congress:

Bulldozer contractor's car. Lewis County, near Vader.

More after the jump.

Road Song

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I half agree with commenters that think The Road should not have any music at all, but that aside, I find this song very simple and beautiful:


Nick Cave & Warren Ellis "The Road (Main Theme)"
[via Gorilla vs. Bear]


Mute has just released a new 2CD compilation, White Lunar, covering much of Ellis and Cave's best soundtrack work for films such as The Proposition and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, as well as for The Road and lesser-known films.
Visit Other Music for more information and audio clips.

W
hile we're at it: there are several clips from The Road on YouTube right now. I'm not sure why you would do this, but if you're like me and you have absolutely no self-control, have at it. [Be warned – I believe the MPAA term "unrelenting tension" applies.]



More on The Road here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet and Lowdown

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The issue of T that came with yesterday's New York Times featured a great interview with Samantha Morton, of whom I'm a huge fan. Here's a video interview to go with it, part of T's "Screen Test" series:


Check out the rest of the issue at nytimes.com.

Image of the Day

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Georgetown, Seattle... A message for the week.