The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

E is for Eggleston #7


Memphis (1968)

They Were Collaborators #262


The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Adventures in European Filmmaking #22


Today's Adventure: On the set of Repulsion, Roman Polanski shows his crew how to make Catherine Deneuve look really really crazy (1965)

The Cool Hall of Fame #62


W.C. Fields

Glamour Jungle! #2

This Week's Weegee #25

Seminal Image #598


Wings of Desire
(Wim Wenders; 1987)

Solveig Dommartin dies at age 45.

The Art of Adolescence #6

They Were Collaborators #261


Nelson Riddle and Francis Albert Sinatra

M is for Mauldin #4


"Are you seeking a company of infantry, mon capitaine?"

This Week's Munch #8


Vampire (1895)

Seminal Image #597


Barry Lyndon
(Stanley Kubrick; 1975)

El Cine del Oro #29


Las Abandonadas (The Abandoned Women)
(Emilio Fernandez; 1944)

Collect 'Em All #21


Elisabeth Bergner
No. 6 in a series of 50 from Player's Navy Cut Tobacco.
"Born in Vienna on August 22nd, 1900 (IMDb says 1897), Elisabeth Bergner was only fourteen when she went to the Austrian Academy of Dramatic Art. Later she toured the provinces playing leading roles, and she is now recognized as the greatest Shakespearian actress on the Continent. She did not take to film-acting kindly, for after seeing her first picture, she vowed she would never make another. Dr. Paul Czinner, who has directed every film in which she has appeared and who is now her husband, persuaded her to try again and she won success. Catherine the Great and Escape Me Never are her British pictures."

A Is For Arbus #34


Mildred Dunnock, character actress of stage and screen.
(November, 1964)

Broadcasters #13
Stacks o' Wax #17


The Good Guys Sing was an LP released on the United Artists label in 1964 by the All Star air staff of New York's AM radio giant, WMCA; known in story and song as the WMCA Good Guys. From left to right: Dan Daniel, Jack Spector, Harry Harrison, Johnny Dark, B. Mitchel Reed and Joe O'Brien.

Between numbers, of course, the Good Guys do weather, traffic updates and time checks.

Seminal Image #596


Ban shun
(Late Spring)
(Yasujiro Ozu; 1949)

Woodcut Confidential! #4


Oban triptych: Hachiman Taro Yoshi-ie
(The Battle of Go-San-Nen)
(Nobukazu Yosai; 1896)

The Cool Hall of Fame #61


Chet Baker

Great War Art #5

Newspapermen #5


Walter Lippmann

Glamour Jungle! #1

The Art of Cinema #192


Madame Bovary
(Vincente Minnelli; 1949)

Thomas Nast's Tammany Hall #1


The "Brains"
(William Marcy Tweed)
(Harper's Weekly; 1870)

Seminal Image #595


The Killers
(Robert Siodmak; 1946)

The Art of American Amusement #3


The Tickler
(White City, Colorado)
(1908)

artists in action #147

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Peter Whitehead points his camera at the sky

This is the City . . . #8


The Capitol Records Tower (1957)

They Were Collaborators #260


Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter and Bob Dylan

The Art of the Chatauqua Tent #1

The Present Day Composer #35


Harold Arlen (1905-1986)

Seminal Image #594


The Dirty Girls
(Radley Metzger; 1964)

Housekeeping Matter #21: A New Look

Those of you who are regular visitors to this blog may notice that its look has changed rather drastically. It's something I've been meaning to do for awhile, and now that I find myself in the throes of a hideous bout of Flu, I figured . . . why not give it a go?

Terrific.

I'm not, however, unmindful that in my present state what looks decent enough to me might be a chore on the eyes of others, so I'm essentially asking you folks to let us know if these alterations constitute a visual improvement . . . or a descent into ocular hell. I can always change it back to the old template, quick as a mouse-click, if there's sufficient dissatisfaction.

And now . . . back to resting my congested cranium.

UPDATE: Vox populi, baby. The peoples have spoken, and . . . as you can see . . . I've changed it back to the slightly modified look of the last few days. I'll go into my rationale in the Comments section (when I can get the keyboard to stop spinning), but for now at any rate, this is the template we'll stick with.

Thanks to all who chimed in!

When Legends Gather #203


Lucille Ball and Hedda Hopper

The World According to George Du Maurier #1


How the Reputations of Distinguished Amateurs Are Sometimes Made (1887)

Seminal Image #593


Lonesome Cowboys
(Andy Warhol; 1968)

When Legends Gather #202


Cliff Richard and Mary Whitehouse

Sex Education #71


Yvonne Craig

The Art of the Piano #12


Peace and Plenty Rag
(by James Scott)
(Stark Music Printing and Publishing Co.; 1919)

They Were Collaborators #259


Marilyn Monroe (photographed by Harold Lloyd)

Artists in Action #146


Dick Gregory confers with two law enforcement officials

Seminal Image #592
The Cool Hall of Fame #60


Anita O'Day
in Jazz on a Summer's Day
(Bert Stern; 1960)

G is for Gedney #5


Bicycles lying on the ground (1966)

The Art of Jazz #34


The Scene Changes: The Amazing Bud Powell, vol. 5
(Bud Powell)
(Blue Note; 1958)

When Legends Gather #201


Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin and Oona O'Neill

They Were Collaborators #258


Vernon and Irene Castle

The Cool Hall of Fame #59


Dutch Mason (left, with trio members Ronnie Miller and Ken Clattenburg)

The name of Dutch Mason likely doesn't mean much to anyone living outside of Canada, but here at home, Norman "Dutch" Mason was our Prime Minister of the Blues (so-named by none other than B.B. King), born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and a constant presence on this country's music scene from the '60s right up until just before his death on Christmas Eve.

He was a complete character; the most skilled user of profanity I've ever experienced (his influence is deeply felt on the TV series Trailer Park Boys, created by Ken Clattenburg's son Mike) and a nudist who rarely wore clothes when behind closed doors. To his detriment, he didn't care much about the music business, and experienced his share of hard times as a result, but he loved to make music and perform, and felt the blues to the bottom of his very soul.

I suppose Dutch could have tried harder to be more famous or successful. He could have got a high powered manager to break him into the European market, or hired lawyers to ensure that he wouldn't get ripped off by any number of record labels and assorted music industry lowlifes (and guarantee that the rights to his recordings would make them available today, instead of rare as hen's teeth). But to Dutch that probably just seemed like a lot of work, seeing as he didn't particularly seem to care where he was playing, as long as there were people there to see him.

Mason played from-the-gut, cigarette-burned, working class blues that people liked to get drunk to, and lived exactly the kind of hard life you'd expect from a musician that played that kind of music. But he was also generous with younger musicians, often inviting them on stage to play, sometimes even giving them some of his old gear if he took a shine to them. And bit by bit, he built a love for the blues in the Great White North.

Artists in Action #145

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Ingrid Pitt clutches her good luck charm

Seminal Image #591

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16 Years of Alcohol
(Richard Jobson; 2003)

They Were Collaborators #257

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Skids

When Legends Gather #200

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Pete Bennett of Apple Records, Phil Spector and George Harrison