Friday, May 20, 2016


Seen from another angle as when an area—station, square, market—seen on a Sunday. Little made from heavy (stone) slab anymore. Cream-colored stone: whole cities. A child’s fascination with a pigeon. As for excess—what the wind can’t carry into underbrush and embankments will perish in half-lives. What other kinds of lives does excess (excessive material) lead? What kind of half-lives do we lead? The love more protest than recognition. Uncorrected, the expression will calcify. Uncorrected, the expression will calcify into a demonstration of thistle-thorn dismay. The amount of material aloft. Being first or being best? “I want to imagine your face when you think of me but I can’t.” By “imagine your face” I mean in shadow, in the shadow of your shiny hair, your expression itself a shadow. “The emporium of youth” versus “the emporium of adulthood.” I mean, nature ramifies in order to survive. Never mind the number of birds, the number of raptors, the northern goshawk. In one corner of a cemetery, the headstones under water. The difference between “idling” and “waiting”. Meanwhile, “il y a du monde dans la village.” To get cosmopolitan (to get global) get irresponsible. Wave hands in a fluttering, dilly manner. What cold seeks to occupy as opposed to what seeks to occupy cold. Why forage alone if one must forage. (That way, in a pair, two people could forage a bond.) The paucity of arrivals, the paucity of slack arrivals, the inner paucity, the slack. Imagine lightning—staying around—like trees. All the lightning on the hillside, all the trees on the hillside. The arboreal properties of lightning, the lightning full of sap, quite flammable. Remember: the symmetrical nature of most pain. If Person A will ail at Point X then Person B will ail at Point Y.
Loneliness aggrandizes. The cycle of isolation, governed by a spray of tall buildings, or the sliding scale of sunlight, or the balloting of voices in airshafts and alleys. “Who is bright” and “Who is warm.” The units of earth that the elements rearrange—rust, rusty coloring, what gnaws into the animal, our porticos of vulnerable awareness.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Thursday: Nearly Forgotten Songs: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Cultural Affairs Week 2016 continues with nearly forgotten “The Splib, Part 1”, a grinding honker by J.C. Davis. Also posted today, check out Frank De Rosa’s nearly forgotten shaker, “Irish Rock.”

Date of release: 1961 (Chicago, Argo). A side: “The Splib, Part 1” / B side: “The Splib, Part 2.”

Likely personnel: J.C. Davis (leader, tenor sax), Alvin “Fats” Gonder or Bobby Byrd (piano), Les Buie (guitar), Hubert Lee Perry (bass), Nat Kendrick (drums), Roscoe Patrick (trumpet), and Alfred Corley (alto sax).

Genre: Early R&B.

Biographical information on leader: J.C. Davis came to some renown as a soloist in, and musical director of the James Brown Band round about the late 1950s and early 1960s. He recorded a smattering of songs as leader roughly during the same time period with “The Splib, Part 1” (b/w “The Splib, Part 2”) being one of his first committed to vinyl. He may have drifted out of music by the 1970s, but not before he toured with the likes of Etta James, Jackie Wilson, and Little Willie John. Some photographic evidence available online suggests that J.C. Davis attended James Brown’s funeral in 2006. Davis tears the building down with “The Splib, Part 1”, which concludes with a voice (Davis himself?) encouraging the listener to flip the record for further splib, oh yeah!

25 word review: Screaming as applied to uninhibited gyration, it celebrates the moments before pinnacle, the clinching argument, one imagines whole halls in motion, the walls themselves dancing.

Sources of information: 45cat entry for J.C. Davis, Discogs entry for J.C. Davis, Goldmine Magazine article on The Last of the Famous Flames, Book The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing about the Godfather of Soul (Plume 2008), Book The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Avery 2012), Google group thread on J.C. Davis.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Thursday: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System


Cultural Affairs Week 2016
 continues with the nearly forgotten, “Irish Rock”, an infectious shaker by Frank De Rosa and His D Men. Also posted today, check out J.C. Davis’ nearly forgotten honker, “The Splib, Part 1.”

Date of release: 1958 (Dot, Hollywood, Calif.) Previously recorded in 1957 (Ken Records, Rochester, N.Y.) A side: “Big Guitar” / B side: “Irish Rock”

Likely personnel: Frank De Rosa (leader, tenor sax), Bobby Geno (guitar), Sonny Geno (instrument unknown). Others and their instruments, if any, unknown.

Genre: Early rock.

Biographical information on leader: We know very little about Frank De Rosa, who seems to have recorded just these two songs. “Big Guitar” achieved some local notoriety, prompting Dot to pick up the record for national distribution. De Rosa’s version (of “Big Guitar”) failed to achieve widespread success, but a cover by the Owen Bradley Quartet fared much better. While De Rosa may have played with other musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald, scant information exists for this wailing saxophone player, who really hits the bell on “Irish Rock.”

25 word review: Stitches effortlessly between (and integrates) swing, R&B, rock. Undeniably punk. At heart optimistic, a bit naughty, a bit aggressive: it encourages our opposite(s) to capitulate.

Sources of information: 45cat entry for Frank De Rosa, Discogs entry for Frank De Rosa, WNYFM blog post on Big Guitar, Book Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz (Da Capo Press, 1995).

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
The Swans Survive
Thursday: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


The G.O.P. can bellyache all it wants about presumptive nominee Donald Drumpf, but in fielding 17 candidates at the onset of the presidential season—with many treading into the primaries—the party allowed a subset of voters (25%? 30%?) to establish the outsider, Drumpf, as the front-runner, while compelling the remainder of the candidates, most of them milquetoast insiders, to divvy-up the leftover ballots.

When the field narrowed to three—Drumpf, Cruz, Kasich—this blogger (a lifelong Democrat) cheered for John Kasich, who, although a bit bloated, nevertheless represented the nearly-extinct moderate wing of the Republican party, and although this blogger would prefer the eventual Democrat nominee to him, it might not be the end of rational civilization were he to assume the presidency, i.e. the Oaf of Orifice.

Drumpf vanquished his rivals, however, through his in-depth knowledge of “schlong” and “schlonging techniques”, which involve the provision of “schlong”, professional development of “schlong”, electoral “schlong”, and numerous pontifications on “the schlonged”—how “schlong in America”, if properly wielded, can topple an establishment, leading a voter to declaim on “sudden, irrevocable schlong.”

In an effort to gain expertise on bridge closures, i.e., ways of preventing Democrat commuters from traveling to the polls in November, Drumpf has installed the massive object, Chris Christie, as chairman of his Transition Team, and Christie, equally effective, viz. (1) Drumpf’s Call to Service, and (2) at The Buffet, ought to demonstrate expertise in showing the presumptive nominee just how to narrow lanes and pinch-off circulation.

Lately, Republican voters seem fond of presenting the country with “Captains of Industry” as their champions, including Willard “Mitt” Romney from the previous cycle, but just to be sure, we’re not talking about “Captains” who have built factories, railroads, automobiles, or power plants from scratch, no, we’re talking about those “Captains” who were handed vast wealth, and didn’t screw up at multiplication.

It says Drumpf on an airplane, it says Drumpf on a skyscraper, it says Drumpf on a helicopter, it says Drumpf on a casino, and it says Drumpf on TV, in fact, when you power-up your television set, it burps out Drumpf for reasons scientists are currently at a loss to explain, and often times, now, when a boxer or MMA fighter receives a Mexican liver punch, he or she also says Drumpf, before collapsing in agony.

Google Translate detects German when you enter Drumpf, and it translates Drumpf as flopper whopper, he who impersonates a publicist, incomplete suppression of epigastric crisis, corporate culture enthusiast, avant garde gerbil actions, selective memory failure, and “the epicenter of the fart”, but the thing is, that’s a single word, Drumpf, in German, and that’s what it means—all that jazz!

You’d think the climate would come up roses for us Democrats, but think again, with our second-chance presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, failing to quell the impressive insurgency from plain-talking Bernie Sanders, a candidate for whom this blogger voted, mostly because Bernie is saying the kinds of things that nobody else—not shrill Hillary and certainly not billionaire-class Drumpf—has the guts to say.  

It’s not just Hillary Clinton, LLC that opposes Drumpf, but formidable kababs of the Republican establishment who might challenge him as part of a third party effort to rescue their burglarized party, yet either way, Drumpf won’t be vanquished by reciting from a list of offenses, no, he’s far too crafty for something weak like that, plus many Drumpf supporters, the silent Drumpfistas, remain hidden from pollsters and don’t give a rat’s ass about Paul Ryan or “wee government.”

Hillary (and Bill, too) will be the targets of much muckraking as Drumpf attempts to wrest the reins of government, and this could mitigate Hillary’s effectiveness, but more importantly, Hillary will have to campaign in a way that she hasn’t campaigned before: she’ll have to inspire voters by presenting a clear, compelling vision of her presidency, yet even if she accomplishes this unlikely feat, unfortunately, the answer to “U.S.A. to Elect Donald Drumpf?” may still be, sadly, yes.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Wednesday: USA to Elect Donald Drumpf?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Man of the year, Alan Curtis

After Swansea City finished eighth in the Premier League last season, hauling-in a club record 56 points, the team and its supporters may have begun to dream of “more”, with “more” possibly equating to European football—a finish that would qualify the Swans for a lucrative continental competition. The 2015-16 campaign began brightly enough, with the sharp, young manager, Garry Monk, presiding over eight points from the first four matches, including a 2-2 draw away to defending champions Chelsea and a 2-1 triumph over Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium, the third straight defeat of the legendary club. But a considerable dip in form, punctuated by a listless home drubbing at the boots of eventual champions, Leicester City, prompted the brass—a bit hastily, perhaps, a bit hysterically—to sack Monk in December and install Swansea legend, Alan Curtis, as caretaker manager, a role he’d undertaken in 2004. Suddenly, the greatest story in sports, a club that had come within a game of its extinction, but through essential community involvement climbed all the way into the Premier League, appeared jeopardized. Even as the Swans slipped into the relegation zone for a short stretch, the steely legend, Curtis, steadied the players, and even substituted briefly for Monk’s eventual replacement, the reputable Francesco Guidolin, an Italian manager who ultimately guided the Swans to safety, including a memorable 4-1 late-season romp at West Ham, a side actually chasing European glory in its final fixtures.

Player of the year, Gylfi Sigurðsson

Nobody enjoyed Monk’s dismissal, especially since the former Swans defensive stalwart and captain had earnestly ushered the club to safety after Michael Laudrup had gotten the sack, himself, during the 2013-14 season. The following campaign—that of 56 points and the eighth place finish—featured league doubles (sweeps) over Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as no extended periods of rot. Thus, who would’ve expected to encounter miserable ten-man Swansea, at home versus relegation rivals Sunderland in January, chasing the game around, immersed in a precarious 4-2 defeat? During the match, defender Kyle Naughton had been harshly sent off owing to a challenge (later declared fair) on a Sunderland player, and shockingly, a game the Swans had earmarked—to bear points—had horribly slipped away. Out of nowhere, then, the Swansea City board improbably produced Guidolin, a manager who captain, Ash Williams, had to Google. After relieving Garry Monk of his duties, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins had jetted to South America, hoping to entice the fiery El Loco, Marcelo Bielsa, to pace the sidelines, but instead, the sixty year-old Italian, Guidolin, who’d impressively managed a string of smaller clubs in Serie A, assumed sideline duties in time for Swansea to defeat Everton, the first such outcome against the Toffees in a league match. Guidolin, an avid bicycle rider who envied the prospects of riding along the Welsh coastline, developed a lung infection before facing Arsenal away, an illness that required prolonged hospitalization.

Andre Ayew became the club’s leader goal-scorer 

At Arsenal, most prominently, the former Swans forward and Wales international, Alan Curtis, oversaw the club as caretaker, and the players responded, producing a somewhat lucky but undeniably vital 2-1 conquest at The Emirates. A few weeks later, after presiding over an important comeback draw, 2-2, at Stoke, Guidolin would lead the Swans to the club’s first ever league victory over Chelsea, 1-0, punctuated by a goal from Iceland international, Gylfi Sigurðsson, the highly acclaimed player of the year, who generated the club’s most crucial finishes. Andre Ayew, the first-year international from Ghana, would regain his early season form, starring in late-season defeats of Liverpool and West Ham, along with a 1-1 draw versus Manchester City on the final day, to help the club reach 12th in the table at 47 points. Yet the defeat of West Ham, 4-1, in London, might provide Swansea City supporters with the most incisive vision of the future, by virtue of its youthful starting lineup, showcasing the center-backs Jordi Amat and Fede Fernandez, left-back Stephen Kingsley, winger Modou Barrow, and midfielder Leroy Fer, on loan from Queens Park Rangers. Wayne Routledge found the net, Ayew found the net, Ki Sung-yeung found the net, and the much maligned (but dutiful) Bafetimbi Gomis (the self-proclaimed “Black Panther”) ended his goal-scoring drought. The Swans fielded players from Poland, England, Argentina, Catalonia, Scotland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Gambia, Spain, Ghana, and France, but the “Tower of Babel” implications failed to materialize as this fleet international lineup flew around the pitch in harmony. Notably, Jack Cork wore the armband, as captain Ash Williams took a well-deserved breather. Ayew would eventually close the season as Swansea’s top scorer, netting 12 important goals.

The D.C. Jacks celebrate with the ritual Penderyn toast

As a founding member of the D.C. Jacks, this blogger toasted Swansea City’s achievement of reaching safety (a 3-1 defeat of Liverpool) by hoisting a glass of Welsh single malt, Penderyn, in the company of other founding members of the D.C. Jacks. We realize that uncertainty lies ahead for the Swans. Even as several Swansea players prepare to participate in the Euro 2016 competition, the club will be weighing offers for some of its stars, considering swoops for other players, and conceiving of its tactics for the 2016-17 Prem. Might we witness the return of Wilfried Bony, beloved striker from Cote d’Ivoire, now languishing on Manchester City? Will the “Welsh Pirlo” Joe Allen, now a Liverpool standout, return to South Wales, as has been rumored? Will the American investment group that owns the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and D.C. United of MLS, purchase a controlling interest in Swansea, thus arriving with a substantial cash infusion? Noting that the great new champions, Leicester City, triumphed unexpectedly with a variety of unconventional strategies and players, but nevertheless with conventional international billionaire ownership, undoubtedly the Swansea board may decide that it needs to trade the satisfaction of being a community-owned enterprise for the added security of greater resources. We’re sure that’s not an easy decision to make. The community and the club have fought hard to ensure a sixth-straight season at the top, a feat that has obviously emerged from great competence and great decency. Next year, the somewhat severe but undeniably generous Francesco Guidolin—with Curtis at his side—will lead Swansea City in the greatest professional sports league in the world. To that, we say, Up the Swans!

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive

Monday, May 16, 2016


In order to really succeed, I’m prepping a cheesy resume, my curriculum velveetae. I’ll probably send it by Greek tragedy post, via Medea Mail. The sunset prayer for scooter, Vespa’s Vespers, can be recited along with an affirmation of the Cuban highball, c.f., “I got my mojito workin’!” Those who are rockin’ the Casbah versus those who are rockin’ the cash bar: ask the coroner, down on the corner, drinking a Corona. By saying “the Bohemian poet in wetter weather”, do you mean Rainier Maria Rilke? A maudlin passerine (blue jay) considered simultaneously with the female republic (va-jay-jay) considered simultaneously with Reasonable Doubt rapper (Jay Z) yields one Blue Va-Jay-Jay Z. His unreleased masterpiece, “Boner’s Manual”, (in lieu of traditional instructions), should be distributed to every adolescent. If you want to know, the French military always assigns a comedian to watch the fuel depot in the desert, since the petrol patrol is drôle. “Que Sahara Sahara”, concludes the musketeer. If I can find the powdered drink, Tang, in orange, kiwi, and pineapple flavors, then why not prune? Why no Prune Tang? Last I heard, the pedestrian lady was marrying her traffic policeman, oh yeah: she was wedding her whistle. After a wedding in Italy, c.f., Roman nuptials, the couple will exchange views of each other’s sticky butts: a honey moon. If a lettuce could tell time, it’d probably feature romaine numerals, uh huh. 

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z