Friday, May 28, 2021

"Who Is Lun*na Menoh?" Best Documentary Award f rom CAAMFEST 2021


Being meta can be cliche nowadays. As boundaries of fact and fiction become more blurred in the Documentary Renaissance that we are currently living in, this film tests said boundaries, veering in left turns that may seem disingenuous, but in the end, is both a commentary and love letter to an artist who navigates and challenges the absurdity of the modern art scene, and always on her own terms. The jury is honored to announce the documentary award to WHO IS LUN*NA MENOH? - Masashi Niwano, CAAMFEST and Exhibitions Director.

Sparks, Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard - So May We Start | From "Annette"...

Monday, May 24, 2021

Wallace Berman in Manhattan in September 2021


We'll take Manhattan again. Wallace Berman exhibition in NYC this coming September. More details later. Self-portrait of Wallace up above.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Wallace Berman's Be-Bop Jazz


My dad, Wallace Berman did this drawing when he was a teenager. Your typical hardcore Jazzier Hipster (of 1940s culture) for the record label Dial Records. There are different color versions of this work, because Dial released two separate compilations of their artists. One being the great Charlie Parker. This, I believe is the first time Parker has been on an album. My dad hung out at Tempo Records on Hollywood Blvd, which focused on the then contemporary be-bop music and artists. Tempo owned Dial and the rest is history.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Get a Paid Subscription to The World of Tosh Berman


Get a paid subscription and I will send you the re-edited versions of the Sunday Series every Sunday. And some new stuff as well. You can do it here:

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Catherine Deneuve - "Souviens toi de M'Oublier" (1981) Philips


My friend Taro sent this to me from his home in Tokyo, and it is one of my favorite Serge Gainsbourg projects. Not as famous or iconic as his work with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, but nevertheless a late Serge masterpiece. Recorded in London and in 1981, Catherine Deneuve, the marvelous French actress (actor), made her first album with Serge writing all the songs. She is seen in the early Jacques Demy musicals, but I believe her voice is dubbed over by another singer. Still, Deneuve can rock the party here on this album. Backed by studio guitarist great Alan Parker, a latter-day Jimmy Page here with riffing electric guitar. Arrangements and keyboards by Alan Hawkshaw, another great British studio musician and backed by bassist Brian Odgers, and drummer Dougie Wright of the John Barry (Jane's first husband by the way) Seven. 

It's a solid rock background, and almost every song here is catchy as hell. My favorite cuts are Dépression Au-Dessus Du Jardin and Oh Soliman. Deneuve is not a singer, but her voice is still stronger than Birkin or Bardot, and she makes these songs by Gainsbourg spicy and hot. Not an accessible album to find, but it is an essential Gainsbourg project. It needs to be reissued. 

The World of Tosh Berman: Saturday, May 15, 2021 (The Mysterious Michael Braun and Love Me Do!) 

The World of Tosh Berman: The Mysterious Michael Braun and Love Me Do!

BOOK MUSIK No. 46 Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound - Discussion with author Daphne A. Brooks


Book Musik 046 – Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound – discussion with author Daphne A. Brooks

Tosh and Kimley are joined by author Daphne A. Brooks to discuss her new book Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound. Brooks asks: “Who gets to tell the story of Black women who were both performing and producing thought about popular music culture, and how will this story be told?” The vital and influential work of Black female performers, writers, critics, intellectuals and cultural historians has long been neglected, marginalized or lost altogether. Brooks has taken it upon herself to fill in the archives and gift us with this rich history long in the making that will undoubtedly send you down many a rabbit hole to discover even more.

Daphne shared this playlist for her book: Spotify playlist

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Wallace Berman's "You'll Lost That Loving Feeling" Verifax Collage (Postcard/announcement)


"You'll Lost That Loving Feeling" was a favorite song by my dad Wallace Berman. Here is a postcard/announcement made by Wallace for his exhibition in Beverly Glen. The image down below is art made by Wallace, called "You Lost That Loving Feeling" (1964/1965). Phil Spector got the invitation and came with Ronnie Spector to the studio and he purchased this portrait by Wallace. At this time, I imagine that the artwork is still in the Spector estate, but beyond that, I'm not sure. The original work is verifax collage.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Become a Paid Subscriber to "The World of Tosh Berman"


Become a paid subscriber to my "The World of Tosh Berman" and as a perk I'll send you a Sunday piece every Sunday. $5 for monthly/$70 for Yearly and founding member is $210 a year. I plan to add more perks as well.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The World of Tosh Berman: Saturday, May 8, 2021 (T*** of Finland)


The World of Tosh Berman T*** of Finland: Saturday, May 8, 2021. Read it here, and if you wish, please subscribe to my page, thank you.

vol.13 - Relah Eckstein (Who Is Lun*na Menoh?)

We talk about Relah Eckstein on our mini-documentary on the bigger documentary "Who Is Lun*na Menoh?" Relah is truly a cineamtic genius. Think of John Waters/Luis Bunuel/David Lynch if they lived and worked in the San Fernando Valley (Encino to be specific). Lun*na and I worked on her films which throughout the years, and why she is not better known is a mystery to me. Here you can see film stills from her work. Enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2021

[Who is in "Who is Lun*na Menoh" ] vol.12 - ADULT.

Radio Aether Series Image No. 1 by Wallace Berman (Kohn Gallery)


Radio Aether

Like the musicians and Beat poets he befriended, Berman preferred to operate on the margins of society, honing in on life’s darker side. In late 1963, around the time of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and Marcel Duchamp’s influential retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art, he created his first collages with a Verifax machine, a forerunner of the photocopier. Built on materials appropriated from the popular press, the new work owed much to Duchamp’s revolutionary idea of the Readymade and eventually engendered Berman’s signature image: a handheld transistor radio, inlaid with found imagery and arrayed in grids ranging from four to fifty-six hands at a time. The radio, immortalized in Jean Cocteau’s classic art film Orphée and John Cage’s seminal chance compositions of the mid-1950s, became Berman’s defining motif; a potent expression of his abiding interest in secret transmissions and in the semiotic fallout of popular culture.

Inside his radio frames, an encyclopedic universe of images - machines, bodies, animals, buildings, plants, nuns, athletes, astronauts, guns, esoteric symbols, intergalactic nebulae, rock stars, and celebrities, among many other things - proliferates in webs of cryptic significance. “No hope in making, assembling, binding together ornate bibles of history,” Berman’s friend, the poet David Meltzer wrote about the artist’s vast and surreal dictionary. “The clues are found everywhere: inside the sleeping poet; on the streets; beneath the sea; in levels, stratum, the years of a desert; and aurora all around the dead we bury within ourselves.” The grid was likely inspired by Berman’s love of comic strips; and by Andy Warhol’s infamous Campbell’s Soup Cans, which he had first exhibited in 1962 at the Ferus Gallery. To try and solve Berman’s visual puzzles would be missing the point. His Verifax grids, like mankind’s deepest mysteries, are best approached obliquely, presciently streaming as they do the visual flotsam of a particular time and place.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The World of Tosh Berman: Sunday, May 2, 2021 (At The Bottom of Echo Park Lake)


The World of Tosh Berman: At The Bottom of The Echo Park Lake.  

Read it here: At the Bottom of Echo Park Lake

“Gustav Metzger: Writings 1953-2016” Edited by Mathieu Copeland (JRP Editions) 2019


“Gustav Metzger: Writings 1953-2016” Edited by Mathieu Copeland (JRP Editions) 2019

I first became aware of Gustav Metzger's name due to Pete Townshend of The Who smashing his guitar against an amp while on the stage. Usually, when one reads about the violence in a Who concert, Metzger's name is mentioned. Even as a child, which was the first time I was aware of The Who, I knew that there was something totally unpractical about smashing an expensive instrument into the ground, or even worse, through the PA system. Still, the theater or spectacle of such an action taking place was exhilarating to me. Perhaps due to the built-up violence at the end of their music set and again, the waste of a perfectly good instrument was destroyed. When Pete was in Art School, he met and studied under the artist Gustav Metzger. Pete took Metzger's complicated and textural process and brought it into the Pop music world. Beyond that, Metzger spent a lifetime organizing and writing press notices about how he saw the arts as in action, not standing still. 

Destruction and creation can share the same dinner table, in that it's two life forces at work. Sometimes against each other, but I see it as a workable union. Metzger, very aware of the effects of World War II in his life, as well as the threat of the atomic bomb and the landscape of the Cold War - knew that destruction was very much only inches away. One can make that into an art form or a large canvas to do one's art on the intensity of such a danger. There is a liberating feeling about specific types of destruction. Metzger, through his visual art and writings, conveys that world. 

Writings 1953-2016 is very much of a work by an artist and not a prose writer. This in itself is an exciting prospect because one can feel the intensity of his thoughts and feelings on how art is produced in a somewhat Capitalist society. Capitalism itself is a combination of creation and destruction. For it to live as an institution, it must also destroy. Sexually it's an S&M relationship. Some must lose in the Capitalist system, and therefore we have the art by Metzger. 

Metzger is very much a political figure in the arts. Reading through this book. He spent a great deal of time organizing conferences, talks/lectures, and art exhibitions. He was wary of the Gallery/Artist system due that is based on business. Not ideas or institutions have a hard time coming to terms that the physical aspect of the artwork is changing and not always on the physical medium of the canvas. Metzger wanted to transform the world, and I suspect that he tried to squeeze all of the poison out of its body or system. Therefore, Auto-destructive art is a very positive method of reaching visionary, moral, and healthy art for society. 

The book is beautifully produced by JRP Editions in a functional design that is somewhat elegant in the manner of a manifesto zine but of excellent quality. The majority of the writings here are press releases Metzger wrote under the banner of his various organizations that he co-started or worked with, such as DIAS and PAGE. Metzger also connected with art communities such as Fluxus and organized lectures and exhibits for Yoko Ono during her Avant-garde period in London and New York City. The Metzger book is essential for one who collects documents of the 'art' 20th-century.  

Tosh Berman Interviewed on the BIG TABLE Podcast by J.C. Gabel


Tosh Interviewed by J.C. Gabel  

I'm interviewed by J.C. Gabel about my book TOSH.

[Who is in "Who is Lun*na Menoh" ] vol.11 - Vanessa Gonzalez

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Subscribe to The World of Tosh Berman


Do sign up for your free subscription to "The World of Tosh Berman." On almost a daily basis, I will post new writings - some will be essays, some fiction, and half essay and half fiction. And music writing as well. If you become a PAID subscriber, I'll send you something unique that no one else has. There is a whole world to explore (inner-head and outside), and this platform, Substack, is my platform. -Tosh Berman.

Apple Music & Spotify Playlist on The Who from Book Musik


We at BOOK MUSIK put together a playlist of The Who's deep cuts and some surprises. If you can, let us know if you do listen to these playlists. We don't have a way to tell how many people are listening to the Book Musik playlists that we put together.

Apple Music:

BOOK MUSIK - A Band With Built-In Hate: The Who From Pop Art to Punk with Peter Stanfield


Tosh and Kimley are joined by author Peter Stanfield to discuss his new book A BAND WITH BUILT-IN HATE: THE WHO FROM POP ART TO PUNK. The Who is a band rife with contradictions and easily one of the most acutely self-aware bands to come out of the British music scene of the 1960s. From recording ads on THE WHO SELL OUT to the rock opera TOMMY, The Who explored the vast continuum of what popular music could be. They were anti-intellectual intellectuals who embraced constant change and who weren’t afraid to smash a few guitars along the way.