Monday, April 29, 2019

Songs of David Bowie by Chris O'Leary on Tosh Talks

Two books (volumes) by Chris O'Leary that covers every song David Bowie released, as well as obscure b-sides, and recordings not released. Remarkable information which makes these books essential to the Bowie Library.

And here's the podcast version: Songs of David Bowie by Chris O'Leary on Tosh Talks Podcast

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Saturday, April 27, 2019

I took an LYFT to Old Town Pasadena to have lunch with two gentlemen from the Norton Simon Museum.   We agreed to meet at an Indian restaurant called 'All India Cafe' on South Fair Oaks Avenue.  I have never been there, and it is very much a neighborhood joint in Pasadena.  Although they have a brother/sister cafe in Glendale (on Brand), it seems family owned with a tightly knitted group of employees there.   I had spinach mixed in with bite-size potatoes and rice on the side.  I never know what to do in an Indian restaurant.  I feel each dish is meant to be shared, but we all ordered separate dishes.  Still, there is something enjoyable about Indian cuisine that is comforting.  I think the mixture of potato and spinach is a perfect combination and somewhat organic relationship to me.   On the other hand, I was concerned about having rice with potato which is delicious, but is that too much starch for one's diet or need?  

They brought copies of my book TOSH to sign for the stock in their book/gift store.  If I'm not mistaken, I think I have my book in all museum shops in Los Angeles.   It was a delightful way to spend the early afternoon.  The weather was perfect, in that it was sunny, but not the sun of hot direct rays, but more of a lightness that bathes one's soul.   Also, the company was excellent.  I enjoy spending time with people who work in museums or galleries.  I have no interest in the so-called 'art world' when it is displayed as a business, but when it concerns 'culture,' I find that fascinating. 

When I left the cafe, I immediately got on the bus that takes me to Hollywood and Vine.   The trip, if the traffic is not too heavy, takes about 40 minutes.  Which is good, because it gives me time to read this fascinating book by Marjorie Muir Worthington called "The Strange World of Willie Seabrook."    I know nothing of the authors but was curious after reading about this book on the Spurl Editions website.  Seabrook was a travel writer, adventurer, and I suspect a Sadistic soul.  He committed suicide in the 1960s, but this memoir by his ex-wife is a fascinating read so far.  It's a hard book to put down.   I found a copy of the book in the Los Angeles Main Library, but I plan to purchase the Spurl Edition as soon as possible. I want to have it for my library.  

As usual, I went to Amoeba because I had some credit.   For obvious reasons I spent the entire rest of the afternoon as it turned into early evening, looking at album sleeves and letting my mind wander into a beautiful state of exploration.   The connection of the art on the album sleeve and music is an interesting relationship. I imagine hearing the music just by studying the cover, with the fonts of the lettering as well as the illustration/photos.   I purchased The Kinks' "Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoaround - Part One" which for an odd reason is very hard to find on vinyl these days.  And when you do find it, the price is usually around $50, but I found this copy for $24.  Not in perfect condition, but it is one of the great Kinks albums, and I'm happy to have it in my possession.  The other two albums I purchased "Booker T. & The M.G.s' "Green Onions" and a best of a package by The Undertones called "All Wrapped Up," which has a really terrible cover.  Still, The Undertones were magnificent pop music makers. 

I took the express bus back to Sunset and Alverado and then got on the 603 to home.   Which gave me more time to read the Worthington memoir.   In the next few days, I have to decide if I should continue writing my journal, or work on a fictional project.  It really depends on how well TOSH does in the reading market.  It seems by the appearance that the book is selling well, and the reviews have been overly positive.  So who knows?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tosh Berman meets Marcel Duchamp on Tosh Talks

Tosh Berman Meets Marcel Duchamp on Tosh Talks

Tosh Berman talks about the Pasadena Museum retrospective exhibition of Marcel Duchamp's artwork, curated by Walter Hopps in 1963. Tosh reads a chapter from "Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World (City Lights Books)," focusing on meeting Duchamp.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A beautiful day, weather-wise in Los Angeles.   I went to work in Downtown this morning, feeling a little light headed and in a very relaxed state.  Whenever I have to wake up early for either a work situation or doctor visit, I usually don't need an alarm clock to get me out of bed. It's generally through a dream where I hear a female whisper in my ear "Tosh."  That usually wakes me up. Before work, I re-posted one of the old pieces I wrote for "365."  Today is Pete Shelley's birthday. If he were alive, he would be 64.  The same age as me.   A remarkable songwriter and the first three Buzzcocks albums are pretty damn perfect.   Also, his solo work is equally amazing.  I have often wondered why he didn't stick with the solo work.  Shelley had an interest in electronic or experimental music which gave his pop songwriting side a certain edge.  The songs were pretty, but there was harshness or layers of textures that combined with the heart-filled lyrics become a powerful formula.   Shelley went on to make music with Buzzcocks, and a classic song here and there would show up on later recordings.  Still, I miss him greatly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This morning I uploaded my latest podcast which is yours truly reading the Marcel Duchamp chapter from my book "Tosh."  Lun*na added my theme song which is something I put together based on her sewing machine noise/music.  It works well in the context of a theme song (of sorts).

Yesterday was a sad day due to the burning of the Norte-Dame Cathedral in Paris.  I always see that building/structure as something from the 11th-century as well as gothic literature.  Even without the poetry of the place, I feel that the building has its own life.  Also as a building, it's location is essential when I'm walking around without a map.  I always recognized the Norte-Dame from a distance, so I know that I'm close to various other locations in that area of Paris.  For instance, Shakespeare and Company.  Without the Norte-Dame, I think I could never find that fantastic bookstore.  It was late yesterday that I realize it is a functioning church, but I never see Norte-Dame in that light.   To me, it's a scary, beautiful building.  The church itself has no meaning beyond its beautiful structure and textures.

It's funny how some people react 24-hours later (the Americans, who are excellent in having an opinion as soon as possible) on the possibility of the Cathedral being re-built, and its ability to raise a great deal of money to do so.  Some Americans are commenting on isn't it better to give money to starving children, or whatever the pet cause is at the moment.  Same as some who complain about Bernie Sanders being a millionaire.   What does that have to do with the issues he brings up.  For some reason, people feel that a Socialist shouldn't have money.   Alternatively, it is hypocritical to have money and yet for fair representation in politics.   For one, I think those who bring this up are just pissed off that Senator Sanders even exist on this world.   With respect to the Church, the Norte-Dame Cathedral is not just a building, but an iconic spot for the last 800 years.  Buildings do come and go, but the Cathedral represents more than just a structure.

After finishing up the Podcast, I worked on my piece for the Please Kill Me website. We have been going back and forth on this particular essay, and I enjoy the communication with their editor.  Everything he has brought up is something to make the piece better.  As a writer, working with an editor is the best relationship.   I love them.

I just got back from a walk through Downtown Los Angeles. Beside Echo Park Lake, I love wandering around Downtown due to its architecture.  I always get the feeling that I need a martini while I'm in Downtown, but I avoid hitting a bar at an early hour.  I drink, but I'm not yet a full alcoholic.  At 64 I'm always looking for an adventure.

"Tosh Talks" Podcast: Meeting Marcel Duchamp

Tosh Berman reads a chapter from his memoir "Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World" (City Lights) regarding his meeting as a 9-year-old with iconic artist Marcel Duchamp. Photograph by Julian Wasser, at the Pasadena Museum's opening for the Duchamp retrospective, curated by Walter Hopps. -Tosh Berman

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