"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

31 August 2022


... Let kids just throw rocks at him.

Happy Birthday, Tilbrook

Glenn Tilbrook was born on this day in 1957.

"Happy Days" ...


Howe, Bow Wave, 1940

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Happy Birthday, Montessori

Maria Montessori was born on this day in 1870.

We wish the old things because we cannot understand the new, and we are always seeking after that gorgeousness which belongs to things already on the decline, without recognising in the humble simplicity of new ideas the germ which shall develop in the future.

Maria Montessori, from The Montessori Method

Happy Birthday, Van

Van Morrison was born on this day in 1945.

"Ballerina" ...

28 August 2022


It is important not to be caught short. It is my private opinion that many of our failures in politics, art, and domestic life come from our failure to eat vividly.

Jim Harrison, from "Sporting Food"

Great Album Art: A Series

It'll be fun to explore, but it's all downhill from here, folks.  

We begin with the most beautiful album cover ever produced ...

Thanks to Execupundit for the idea.


Jense-Klint, Grundtvig's Church, 1926

If I am right, then enjoying music involves a kind of outward-going sympathetic movement. In music, as in sex and architecture, the relation between subjects can be uprooted and replaced by an arrangement of objects. And in a hundred ways the result of this is a culture of idolatry, in which freedom and personality are obliterated by intrusive images, clamoring for an addictive response. There is every reason to see this result as a “fall,” and the great story told in Genesis reaches forward to incorporate these new and troubling facts. The Fall did not occur at a particular moment in time; it is a permanent feature of the human condition. We stand poised between freedom and mechanism, subject and object, end and means, beauty and ugliness, sanctity and desecration. And all those distinctions derive from the same ultimate fact, which is that we can live in openness to others, accounting for our actions and demanding an account from them, or alternatively close ourselves off from others, learn to look on them as objects, so as to retreat from the order of the covenant to the order of nature.

Sir Roger Scruton, from The Soul of the World


An excellent book, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth ...

I had four blak arrows under my belt,
Four for the greefs that I have felt,
Four for the number of ill menne
That have oppressid me now and then.
One is gone; one is wele sped;
Old Apulyaird is dead.
One is for Maister Bennet Hatch,
That burned Grimstone, walls and thatch.
One for Sir Oliver Oates,
That cut Sir Harry Shelton’s throat.
Sir Daniel, ye shull have the fourt;
We shall think it fair sport.
Ye shull each have your own part,
A blak arrow in each blak heart.
Get ye to your knees for to pray;
Ye are ded theeves, by yea and nay!

Jon Amend-all of the Green Wood and his Jolly Fellaweship


Harris, "Bring Us, O Lord God"

Harry Christophers conducts The Sixteen ...

Happy Birthday, Goethe


Speak not to me of yonder motley masses,
Whom but to see, puts out the fire of Song!
Hide from my view the surging crowd that passes,
And in its whirlpool forces us along!
No, lead me where some heavenly silence glasses
The purer joys that round the Poet throng,—
Where Love and Friendship still divinely fashion
The bonds that bless, the wreaths that crown his passion!
Ah, every utterance from the depths of feeling
The timid lips have stammeringly expressed,—
Now failing, now, perchance, success revealing,—
Gulps the wild Moment in its greedy breast;
Or oft, reluctant years its warrant sealing,
Its perfect stature stands at last confessed!
What dazzles, for the Moment spends its spirit:
What's genuine, shall Posterity inherit.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, born on this day in 1749, from Faust

25 August 2022


Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag, by Henry Rollins, read by the author ...

22 August 2022


Doisneau, The School Clock, Paris, 1956

The hours of folly are measured by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure. 

William Blake

School starts today.

21 August 2022

INXS, "Elegantly Wasted"


The BBC's Steve Winwood documentary, English Soul ...

Happy Birthday, Strummer

The way you get a better world is you don't put up with substandard anything.

Joe Strummer, born on this day in 1952

With The Mescaleros at the Roseland Ballroom in 1999 (don't miss the opening "Safe European Home") ...


The Furs released Mirror Moves on this day in 1984.

"Alice's House" ...

Shostakovitch, Waltz No. 2

The Carion Wind Quintet keenly performs ...

HUZZAH to the cameraman!


Something to be proven rather than stated ...

From government to business to blogging, how many thousands of things today should be held to such scrutiny?

Thanks, Kurt.


Weekes, Memorial to Shelley, 1854

[Poetry] awakens and enlarges the mind itself by rendering it the receptacle of a thousand unapprehended combinations of thought. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar; it reproduces all that it represents, and the impersonations clothed in its Elysian light stand thenceforward in the minds of those who have once contemplated them as memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends itself over all thoughts and actions with which it coexists. The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, from "A Defence of Poetry"


The familiar, 
precisely because it is familiar, remains unknown.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Nielsen, Wind Quintet, Op. 43

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra Wind Quintet performs ...


The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and you—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

Emily Dickinson

20 August 2022

Happy Birthday, Lynott

Phil Lynott was born on this day in 1949.

"Cowboy Song" ...

New Order, "The Happy One"

All you really need is Hooky ...

Happy Birthday, Plant

Robert Plant was born on this day in 1948.

"Nobody's Fault but Mine" ...


What I am I am, and say not. Being is the great explainer.

Henry David Thoreau


Wherever anything lives, there is, open somewhere, a register in which time is being inscribed. 

Henri Bergson


An excellent album ...

van Eyck, Den Nachtegael

Sarah Jeffery performs ...

17 August 2022


Miles Davis released Kind of Blue on this day in 1959.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue: Celebrating a Masterpiece ...

15 August 2022


Rolling Stone on The Cars' 1980 high-toned dalliance with art theory ...
With the new album, the rift between the Cars and their critics has widened—though for different reasons. Panorama avoids most of the methodical mannerisms that befell Candy-O, but what it opts for instead is technopop: rigid, electronic rock & roll that favors machine-like exactness over heartfelt expression, and avant-garde minimalism over pop-based tunefulness.

So far, the reviews have been mostly unflattering, with Rolling Stone describing it as “an out-and-out drag.” The unkindest cut, though, came in the Cars’ own backyard. Writing in the Boston Phoenix, an alternative weekly that was one of the first publications in the country to tout the group, Deborah Frost declared: “Certainly, some of their fans will think they’re really putting their necks on the line this time. Bullshit. If they are, it’s not because the music or ideas behind it are so brainy, but because this is a slapdash job.” Elsewhere, Frost concluded, “This year’s model is a lemon….”

Yet, there’s a counterside to this wrangle. The Cars’ new music may not have the rock verve of Elvis Costello or Tom Petty, nor the experimental range of Talking Heads or Public Image Ltd., but it does, I think, represent a genuine advance for the group. On several tracks, Ocasek and crew have removed the melodic and harmonic core, paring the songs down to monorhythmic pulses and monochromatic arrangements. On cuts like “Panorama” and “Misfit Kid,” the end result can be grating and jerky, but in “You Wear Those Eyes” and “Touch and Go,” it proves tense, mordant and chilling.

The question, though, is whether any of this constitutes a bona fide incursion of avant-garde music into the mainstream, or whether it’s just an artsy exploitation of other people’s innovations. In other words, is the Cars’ music merely a high-toned dalliance with art theory or a genuine revolution in rock aesthetics?



The Cars released their best album, Panorama, on this day in 1980.

"Gimme Some Slack" ...

14 August 2022


Done and done.


Cezanne, Houses in the Greenery, 1881

I have to keep working, not to arrive at finish, which arouses the admiration of fools.  I must seek completion only for the pleasure of being truer and more knowing. 

Paul Cezanne


Real poetry is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.





Thanks, Kurt.

Happy Birthday, Fidrych

Mark "The Bird Fidrych" was born in this day in 1954.

MLB Network's The Bird ...


Hopper, Sailing, 1911

If you could say it in words, there'd be no reason to paint. 

Edward Hopper


The craft of stonemason James Preston ...
Stonemasons like to grumble about their industry. They cite the poor pay, the long drives, the contrast between the harried contractors and the unhurried in-house cathedral masons, of whom there are still a few groups. Despite his job’s shortcomings, though, Preston counts himself as privileged. On cathedral roofs, he sees grotesques put there for God’s amusement and nobody else’s; and seeing him climbing up spires like some sort of action figure delights and thrills his five-year-old son, Blake. "I think we’re lucky," he says. "I really do."
Thanks, Kurt.

13 August 2022



 An excellent album ...

Thanks, Jess.

Bizet, Carmen

Elīna Garanča and some other people perform selections from Act One ...

Thomas Dolby, "One of Our Submarines"


James Taylor released October Road on this day in 2002.

"September Grass"
Well, the sun's not so hot in the sky today
And you know I can see summertime slipping on away.
A few more geese are gone, a few more leaves turning red,
But the grass is as soft as a feather in a feather bed ...

Happy Birthday, Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg, the original Mr.-Sensitive-with-a-Ponytail, was born on this day in 1951.

"The Reach" ...

12 August 2022


The interactive tool enables users to home in on a specific location and visualize how it has evolved between the Cryogenian Period and the present ..


The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.

Sir Thomas More

Happy Birthday, Biber

Seel, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, 1681

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was born on this day in 1644.

Xavier Díaz Latorre plays the Passacaglia ...

Happy Birthday, Metheny

Pat Metheny was born on this day in 1954.

"(Cross The) Heartland / Airstream" with the Pat Metheny Group ...


I received my first skateboarding offense as a quinquagenarian yesterday. 
What have I done?

11 August 2022

Steve Winwood, "Night Train"

Joe Jackson, "Look Sharp"



"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington" 

For best results, listen to this ... The Police, "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around" ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day. 

Umberto Limongiello

The Psychedelic Furs, "Into You Like a Train"

Happy Birthday, Jackson

Joe Jackson was born on this day in 1954.

"Fools in Love" ...


Obata, Morning at Mono Lake, 1930

Thanks, Jess.


From Shakespeare's Troilus and CressidaAct V, Scene VII ...

Margarelon:  Turn, slave, and fight.

Thersites:  What art thou?         

Margarelon:  A bastard son of Priam’s.

Thersites:  I am a bastard too; I love bastards: I am a bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valour, in every thing illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard? Take heed, the quarrel’s most ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment. Farewell, bastard.  [Exit.

Margarelon:  The devil take thee, coward!  [Exit.

Sean Bean's pronunciation ...

Mozart, Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165

Catherine Trottmann performs with the Orchestre du Palais Royal, under the direction of Jean Philippe Sarcos ...


Learn the rules, 
Then forget them. 



 Jáuregui (attrib.), Cervantes, 1600

The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity. 

Miguel de Cervantes


Reynolds, Self-Portrait, 1780

Could we teach taste and genius by rules, they would be no longer taste and genius. 

Sir Joshua Reynolds