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August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Annus Mirabilis
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Wow, super podcast find — on Apple Hot News, of all places. The Year Was 1959, a series of lectures (w/music) on a single year (but what a year) in the history of Jazz. Georgia State professor Gordon Vernick starts with three of my favorite records ever: John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Miles Davis’s Kind Of Blue, and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come. (The two other great albums that people usually talk about are Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out.)

When you look at 1959, it’s almost impossible to believe that it would be rock and roll (plus folk and ballad pop) that would chart the musical revolution. Rock was stagnant and jazz was endlessly inventive ten times over. Such a delight to listen — this one year is an education in music itself.

2 comments

There is a high-concept movie to be made out of this. It would be called, simply, “1959.” Characters would be musicians and music fans. All walks of life. Multi-generational. And the soundtrack would, obviously, be amazing.

Personal Poem

by Frank O’Hara

Now when I walk around at lunchtime

I have only two charms in my pocket

an old Roman coin Mike Kanemitsu gave me

and a bolt-head that broke off a packing case

when I was in Madrid the others never

brought me too much luck though they did

help keep me in New York against coercion

but now I’m happy for a time and interested

I walk through the luminous humidity

passing the House of Seagram with its wet

and its loungers and the construction to

the left that closed the sidewalk if

I ever get to be a construction worker

I’d like to have a silver hat please

and get to Moriarty’s where I wait for

LeRoi and hear who wants to be a mover and

shaker the last five years my batting average

is .016 that’s that, and LeRoi comes in

and tells me Miles Davis was clubbed 12

times last night outside BIRDLAND by a cop

a lady asks us for a nickel for a terrible

disease but we don’t give her one we

don’t like terrible diseases, then

we go eat some fish and some ale it’s

cool but crowded we don’t like Lionel Trilling

we decide, we like Don Allen we don’t like

Henry James so much we like Herman Melville

we don’t want to be in the poets’ walk in

San Francisco even we just want to be rich

and walk on girders in our silver hats

I wonder if one person out of the 8,000,000 is

thinking of me as I shake hands with LeRoi

and buy a strap for my wristwatch and go

back to work happy at the thought possibly so

(This poem is dated August 1959.)

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