Friday, April 29, 2011

Public Image Ltd.- Poptones & Careering (American Bandstand 1980)

One of those classic "American Bandstand " moments, yet, PIL takes it on another level. Part "Ready Steady Go" meets well...I guess "American Bandstand." Beautiful songs galore. A moment that stands still. In other words a perfect set of moments.

Tosh Talks Apr.29.2011 Charles Brittin

A remarkable walk through Los Angeles/Venice history among other things. Charles Brittin's work is quite magnificent. Here I talk about that and some on my family who is featured in this book.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Fatale" by Jean-Patrick Manchette

A tough little superb French noir novel that is sort of a revenge against the rich and mighty, but also a snapshot image of class difference and hatred due to that difference. The main character is sort of a professional serial killer, who is a shark looking for the rich to kill. And like all classic noir novels, there is not a wasted word in the book. Manchette for sure has that "it" quality down, and i pray that more of this late writer's work will come out. So far three novels and two graphic novels in English. More? More

Sunday, April 24, 2011

0-1: Jacques Roubaud @ Verbale Pupiller

"The Form of a City Changes Faster, Alas, Than The Human Heart" by Jacques Roubaud

By reading these Paris city poems by Jacques Roubaud, one can sense that there is an "Oulipo" stance with its wit and presence. But then again, this is probably one of the best 'poetic' books on Paris. In fact it reads like a map - and for some reason I am drawn to the visual aspect of Paris and how its streets are placed in sections and how it is attached to the big boulevards.

There is a dual aspect to these poems. One is the importance of a language that investigates Paris, but also it is an accurate portrait of a city. So what we have here is Paris as it is laid out by Roubaud's wit and observation. And it goes back to Baudelaire, Queneau, and various French Surrealist poets, with respect to how writing is very much a form itself -and that form represents Paris itself. So not a critique on other writings on Paris, but a nod and a tip to the hat to those who came before and was seduced by Paris' presence.

My only complaint about this book is that it isn't bilingual, but then again I am sure there were budget considerations. And the translation by Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop is pretty readable and fun - and fun is a big part of Roubaud's work.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kurt Schwitters' "Three Stories"

The mega-great artist Kurt Schwitters is also a fantastic poet. But what we have here are three (very) short almost like fairy tales, one poem, and an appreciation by artist E.L.T. Messens, and a response from Schwitter's son Ernst. 
The book is only 32 pages, and sort of the perfect read for a good soak in the bathtub, or a bus ride from Silvelake to Hollywood. Elegantly designed as well. Nothing fancy, but just a nice object to behold. The stories themselves are modest, but for sure worth the read, and the poem reminds me of his visual work. One got the impression Schwitters walked around London and just picked up its vibe for his poem. Love it.

"Gainsbourg Inside" by Yannick Ribeaut

A remarkable photo book focusing on Serge Gainsbourg home in Saint Germain des Prés Paris  The book works on two levels.  One its a document of his home at the time of his death - and his various collections of antique dolls (kind of creepy) to military metals and bullet castings.  Gainsbourg is a hero of mine, so of course anything on this great artist is of great worth.  What impresses me about the interior of the location is how small it seems, and how every object in the house has some importance to its owner.  A good interior should convey the owners personality but also its poetic quality is very important as well.
The second level is Gainsbourg's relationship with his man-servant Fulbert Ribeaut.   Gainsbourg left lots of notes to him asking him to buy specific or the latest publications (including the complete works of Mallarme) and of course smokes!
The photographer Yannick Ribeaut was the nephew of the butler, and with Charlotte Gainsbourg's request, he photographed the house.  This book is both a tribute to Gainsbourg's aesthetic as well as the relationship between Serge and his faithful butler Fulbert.  Almost Proust like intensity!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tosh Talks Jack Spicer Apri.15.2011

Jack Spicer is without a doubt one of my favorite poets. Here I give a little talk, a little reading on this remarkable figure in the poetic arts.

Friday, April 1, 2011