Monday, July 11, 2016

New Audio Interview: PQ Interviewed by Media Ecologist Gerry Fialka

Street art in Spain by PichiAvo.



Part of the MESS (Media Ecology Soul Sessions) Interview Series

Some of the topics covered: 
James Joyce, Wu-Tang, Baseball, Marshall McLuhan, Frank Zappa, Reality vs Perception


Listen to this alongside some chill instrumentals like these for full effect: 



Gerry Fialka is a friend of mine from Venice, CA who has hosted the Venice Finnegans Wake & Marshall McLuhan Reading Group for nearly 20 years. From his website's bio:

"film curator, writer, lecturer, and paramedia ecologist has conducted interactive workshops from UCLA to MIT, from the Ann Arbor Film Festival to Culver City High School. Fialka gave two major lectures at The 2001 North America James Joyce Conference at UC Berkeley. His public interview series MESS (Media Ecology Soul Sessions), with the likes of Mike Kelley, Alexis Smith, Abraham Polonsky, Mary Woronov, Paul Krassner, Ann Magnuson, Heather Woodbury, Norman Klein, Chris Kraus, P. Adams Sitney, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, Kristine McKenna, Ann Magnuson, John Sinclair, Grace Lee Boggs, Firesign Theatre's Phil Proctor, Van Dyke Parks, Orson Bean among many others, began in 1997 and continues at different LA venues including Beyond Baroque and the Canal Club. Fialka's interviews have been published in books by Mike Kelley and Sylvere Lotringer. His William Pope.L interview was published in ARTILLERY magazine."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Brother


Was blasting this song on full volume driving through Times Square with my friend Spit during last visit to Shaolin a few weeks ago. 

Happened to be going on a driving adventure one Tuesday night from Staten Isle to heart of Manhattan with the fresh excitement of a brand new piece of music from my favorite artists, the Cross brothers, Kevlaar 7 speaking from beyond the grave in his posthumous finale solo album A Beautiful Soul produced and arranged by his mourning brother and beat maestro Bronze Nazareth.



A Beautiful Soul speaks directly to what's going on today (the same subjects of oppression and racism and police brutality Kev has talked about since his debut EP Who Got the Camera? in 2011) while cementing the statue of a master poet---"after my death lifts a statue/ in the holiest city/ I scold the warship committee"---in a beautiful, honest, deep and extremely dope sounding piece of hip hop mastery. 




I walk Pongua falls with monks comparing, 
Life to waterfalls, we must've ignored it all




Ignorance is killing us quicker than English erasing Natives
Self hate is the greatest ultimatum




Series of serious flashes expose another Brother's end



Tears stream down, like God spilled his cup
Cuz you spilled a shot that entered his chest like an air duct
Lungs collapse, like his mom on the news that struck




Is we blind? or oblivious?
Non-chivalrous to a civilness?
No difference, blanketed images
I've traveled across Bogota bridges
Built my way past 
KwaZulu henchmen
The linchpin
is the axis of the earth 
Birth survival like a cactus
Vital to the H2O balance
Bearing talons and talent by the gallons
We all be walled in a palace
Kings and Queens 
speaking the same language
Bangin this beat with malice
Til we ashes


*


There is also now a deluxe bundle package featuring the new album A Beautiful Soul, alongside a mix of some of Kevlaar's best work, and a brand new 7-track instrumental EP from Bronze Nazareth called Instrumental Mourning that features some of the deepest, most personal work I've ever heard from Bronze. You can purchase that bundle here




Monday, July 4, 2016

Reviewing a Baseball Reading Odyssey: Some Thoughts on Ten Baseball Books Consumed This Year

My baseball literature cup runneth over.

Every year with the return of baseball, I indulge in a period of fairly intensive baseball reading. This year it got a little out of control. My excitement about the game combined with an insatiable reading habit and a batch of new (or newly acquired) books leading to a gluttonous binge that began in late January stretching into the summer with ten books polished off and a few more lingering. Somehow, after absorbing so much information about baseball through this stack of books (in between watching baseball games and reading baseball articles), my appreciation for the game stands as heightened as ever.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on this year's baseball reading binge.


Baseball Prospectus 2016

A recent trip home to the isle of Staten in New York where my full baseball library resides reminded me that I've been picking up the Baseball Prospectus annuals since 2003. During that time I've become a fairly obsessive and very particular reader of these gigantic info-dense texts, always closely scrutinizing their quality and making comparisons to the book's glory days. Like every other organization, the BP conglomerate of writers has experienced plenty of transition over the last 15 years so the book has inevitably evolved. There was a distinct fallow period leading to the abominable 2013 edition that had diehard readers like myself flipping out. Since then, a new crew of overseers has guided this unique annual book back to prominence.


This latest edition of the BP annual is one of their finest books ever. I love just about everything about it down to the physical presentation and quality of the paper. What we diehard readers tend to look for in this book is a perfect blend of intelligent insight and witty levity. When executed correctly, this combo can propel a reader straight through the 600-page behemoth and that's exactly what happened for me this year. The book arrived earlier than usual in late January and I was through the entire thing in a few weeks. The great thing about the BP annual is that, even after you've read it all, it becomes an essential reference book for the next six months.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bloomsday '16 Recap

Mural of Joyce's everyman Leopold Bloom at Blooms Hotel Temple Bar in Dublin.


This year for Bloomsday I had the privilege of participating in an event at Austin's finest independent bookstore Malvern Books on 29th Street and Guadalupe. There was homemade genuine Irish food made by Irish people, a cluster of fellow humans who have read and loved Ulysses, some yapping by yours truly about the intricacies in James Joyce's most famous book, and passages introduced and read aloud by a half dozen different people including the store's owner Joe hilariously rendering the bizarre opening of the Oxen of the Sun episode. (Video below.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Scenes from a Winter Day in Manhattan

Some shots of New York scenes, most prominently some of my favorite art from MOMA, taken during my last trip there during Christmas 2015, as I clean up my phone in preparation for my upcoming return to NYC in a few days.

I love weird trees.

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