Monday, August 31, 2020

Tosh for ARTBOOK/D.A.P. on Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs: Together &...

osh for ARTBOOK/D.A.P. on Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs: Together & Alone (The Song Cave)

Unseen photos of rebels, outsiders, construction workers and more: celebrating the distinctive gay male gaze of Karlheinz Weinberger

This landmark entry in the lifework of Zürich photographer Karlheinz Weinberger gathers more than 200 never-before-published vintage photographic prints that were rediscovered in 2017. This unique collection pairs images of Weinberger’s most famous subjects, the “Halbstarke”—a loosely organized group of Swiss “rebels” in the late 1950s and early 1960s, carousing at local carnivals and on a camping trip—with a much more private side of Weinberger’s oeuvre: solo portraits of men from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, whom he invited into his makeshift studio in the rooms of the apartment he shared with his mother.

The men in these portraits—construction workers, street vendors, bicycle messengers, outsiders—span a spectrum of fully clothed, arms-crossed poses to campy and flirtatious, fully nude and reclined, while others mimic art historical postures. All of these images, though, reveal a palpable tenderness between photographer and subject, offering an expansive, uncritical take on the male form in an era when being photographed was not the casual, ubiquitous record it is today. Though not a professional photographer (he worked as a warehouse stock manager), Weinberger captured his subjects with a distinctly gay male gaze, both carnal and artistic, and this collection is certain to earn his work a larger following and appreciation.

Born in 1921, Karlheinz Weinberger was a Swiss photographer whose work predominantly explored outsider cultures. Between 1943 and 1967 Weinberger published photos of male workers, sportsmen and bikers in the gay magazine Der Kreis under the pseudonym of “Jim.” In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s he concentrated on Swiss rock ’n’ roll youth, whom he photographed with both tenderness and a hint of irony. Weinberger placed little emphasis on exhibiting his work; his first comprehensive show took place only in 2000, six years before his death.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Portrait of Tosh by Tosh Berman


On a normal day I'm fascinated with images of me, but alas, since the lockdown, I have been obsessing over my aging. Every birthday I take a self-portrait and notice the changes that are within me. This is my second day of being 66, and I'm still dumb. I've been dumb ever since I was a child. I'm thankful for social media that allows, and even encourages me to bring my image to the masses (or the dedicated few). The difficult thing in life is to not to fall into the trap of thinking of only myself, but also attempt to give notice to others. Clearly, they don't need a photograph of yours truly! -Tosh Berman.

Friday, August 21, 2020

"Photographs: Together & Alone" by Karlheinz Weinberger (The Song Cave)


"Photographs: Together & Alone by Karlheinz Weinberger. Edited by Ben Estes with an introduction by Collier Schorr. (The Song Cave) ISBN: 9781734035117

This is such a remarkable book on various levels. Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006) worked in the warehouse department of the Siemens Factory by day, but in his time off he was a self-taught photographer. He made his own studio in his home in Zürich that he shared with his mother. In this studio, he would photograph construction workers, street vendors, outsiders, and members of the Halbstarke, a loose gang of young Swiss kids devoted to American 50s Rock icons as well as making a distinctive fashion statement.

The book is in two parts. The first section is devoted to the youth gang that hangs out in the parks, and there is an erotic quality to the photos that are similar to how Kenneth Anger looked at men in his great film "Scorpio Rising." The second part of the book is devoted to images of male nudes taken in his home studio. An outside culture that is lustful, and deeply moving as well. The book exposes an outer life, but it's the inner-life of Weinberger that makes the work and this book so enticing.

Also, keep in mind that the publisher 'The Song Cave' do interesting titles.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

BOOK MUSIK: "Go All The Way: A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop" by Paul Myers & S.W. Lauden


Tosh and Kimley discuss Go All the Way: A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop by Paul Myers and S. W. Lauden. This compilation of short essays by a wide range of writers (including Michael Chabon and Allison Anders among others) explores the minutiae of what constitutes power pop exactly, whether or not it is even desirable to be lumped into this subgenre and which bands are considered power pop, with bands like Bad Finger, The Raspberries, Big Star, and Cheap Trick generally being considered the prototypes. Despite its effervescent appeal, fans of power pop are deadly serious about its nuances. Both celebrated and maligned, power pop is a nebulous genre and after reading this book things still seem murky to us. But like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart pronounced in an attempt to define porn, we know it when we see it!

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Mungo Thomson: Mail - In Conversation with Tosh Berman Saturday August 15th


Saturday, August 15 at 3PM PDT / 5PM CST / 6PM EST, join Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth LA Bookstore and Inventory Press 

for a live stream with artist Mungo Thomson, in conversation with Tosh Berman, discussing Thomson's new book, Mail. 

This event is free with registration here.Email to order a copy of Mungo Thomson: Mail 

with free shipping in the U.S. 

Mungo Thomson asked The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles to forward all incoming mail to a gallery, where it accumulated unopened during the 4-month run of the 2018 exhibition, Stories for Almost Everyone.Thomson’s publication, Mail, is a temporary archive of one museum's incoming mail. The publication is an homage to a shipping product catalog.

In a time of pandemic and onslaught of privatization of the public sphere and the nation's public land, our event celebrates 
The United States Postal Service, which is on the frontline for democracy. We pay homage to mail art, which through the international postal service was, and is, the outlet for sharing art in a parallel universe to the Art Industry. 


Order a signed copy of Mail and choose to have the book shipped in protective packaging or, in homage to mail art, choose to have your copy sent without protective packaging, so that it will retain the marks of its journey through the postal system, and therefore be both different from and the same as all the others. It is your copy to choose your Mail experience. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

"No Room At The Morgue" by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Afterword by Howard A. Rodman (NYRB)


ISBN: 978-1-68137-418-5

As I live on in the 21st-century, I'm finding less pleasure in everyday life, except for the novels by Jean-Patrick Manchette (1942-1995).  "No Room at the Morgue" is unusual (so far) compared to his other narratives because the main character is a private detective.  Like a classic crime-noir novel, there are colorful characters in an iconic city, that's Paris.  The placement of a crime novel is always using the location as if it's another character.  I often wish that their fiction section is organized in a bookstore in what city the story takes place.  If I want to read a Parisian story, I go to the Paris section of the store. 

Manchette is one of the great crime writers, and what gives him that edge is that his world is very much part of the May '68 world or rebellion and the failure of that movement.  Usually, in classic detective novels, there is the background of war or an economic downturn that fuels the narrative in some form or method.  Manchette is no different in using contemporary (at then) life, and making it very much part of the world of the characters, and how they operate in such a manner.  

Harold A. Rodman's afterword is a dessert after a delicious main meal, the novel itself.  Once again, the New York Review of Books has put together a masterful package. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Source Music of the Avant Garde 1966 1973 on Tosh Talks

Source Music, of the Avant-Garde, 1966-1973" was an amazing journal that focuses on the contemporary Experimental music of the mid-20th century. Morton Fieldman, John Cage, Robert Ashley, Giuseppe Chiari, John Mizelle, and others focus on the nature of modern classical music as well as publishing actual music scores, which there are plenty in this volume, edited by Larry Austin and Douglas Kahn. Published by Univerity of California Press. Tosh Talks, with your host, Tosh Berman.

To read my blog post on Source Music of the Avant-Garde go here:

Thursday, August 6, 2020

"NICHE: A Memoir in Pastiche" by Momus (FSG)

"NICHE: A Memoir in Pastiche" by Momus (FSG)

I'm a massive fan of the memoir, due that the writer usually has to be interesting, good writer, or know how to lie interestingly.  As a reader, I never cared if what I'm reading is the truth or not.  I only care how the narrator tells (writes) the tale.  Momus (Nick Currie) is such a writer that I enjoy going on the journey with him. As a reader, he's the driver, and I'm sitting on the passenger side of the vehicle—the precise reason why I love memoirs.  And Mr. Currie wrote an excellent book. 

Momus has 217 narrators witnessing and telling the tale. All of them are dead and all divine.  What sounds like from a distance just a cute idea, actually works in writing.  Momus uses the voices of writers/artists like Franz Kafka to David Bowie, and beyond.  I counted the narrators and, I didn't know 37 at all.  One of the fun things about "Niche" is that you can google the ones you don't, and it's no extra work, it's a learning experience.  Momus writes through his narrators about his musical career, but even more interesting to me is that he's exceptionally a superb travel writer.  His status as an outsider makes him a voyeur of different cultures, and his writings about Japan I found thrilling.  Mostly due that I lived and visited Japan many times, and I believe we were in the country around the same time.  So I understand what he went through, and it's a game to compare my experiences of Japan with his time there. 

"Niche" reads like a fast-moving Literary Critique, due to the way he sets up the narrative through other voices. The writing is smart, but not over-done.  Like Serge Gainsbourg, in that he is both a masterful writer/lyricist and a composer, he's a jack-of-all-trades and wears all clothing equally well. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Tosh Talks Dare Wright Feb.06.2011

Tosh Berman talks about,
"the secret life of the LONELY DOLL the search for Dare Wright " Joan Nathan
"Ocracoke" IN THE FIFTIES photographs and narrative by Dare Wright
Edited By Brook Ashley and John Ogilvie.

BOOK MUSIK : "Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina" by Chris Frantz (St. Martin's Press)

Tosh and Kimley discuss Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina by Chris Frantz. Frantz is a founding member of Talking Heads and as the drummer he was half of the rhythm section along with his wife Tina Weymouth on bass. They were at the epicenter of the infamous CBGB scene in 1970s New York along with The Ramones, Television, Blondie, and Patti Smith to name just a few. They broke fresh creative ground on what a rock band could be – quirky, geeky, arty, possibly too smart for their own good and oddly clean-cut but with a twist. Lester Bangs famously said they were so uncool that they were cool. Frantz adds his firsthand perspective on a time in rock ‘n’ roll history of which we can never get enough.