Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MICHAEL BROWN GRAND JURY DECISION

Not finding any "probable cause" at all to at least bring the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Wilson to trial: predictable but still unconscionable (were they allowed to take into consideration the fact that Wilson was dismissed from another police department because of the too blatant even for the South racism on that force including Wilson) (and did you see the photos of a supposedly injured Wilson whose face looked fine to me but had been reported as having his eye socket broken or whatever, I looked worse after teenage fist fights...).

The behavior of those setting cars and buildings on fire with lighter fluid or looting stores etc.: despicable and contrary to everything Michael Brown's family had asked for and so many local residents had prepared for.

The behavior of the authorities, especially all the supposed city, county, state police (and national guard troops that seemed nonexistent): dumb, ill planned or at least badly executed and adding fuel to the fire literally initially...

The solution is in the restructuring and training of the police and the requirement that all police everywhere wear POV cameras when on duty, period.

Monday, November 24, 2014

ALLAN KORNBLUM R.I.P.

Allan was a smiley guy so this photo doesn't capture his constant sense of whimsey, but it does reflect his constant dedication to printing, not just books but broadsides as well, which he's doing in this photograph in the midst of a party at Coffee House Press, the publishing venture he founded and ran for decades.

Allan moved to Iowa City in 1970, the year after I left it, but when I returned for a visit I met him and we became instant friends, as folks often did with Allan. He was a witty, curious, ex-New Yorker who went on to become a pillar in the small press community in its burgeoning years and on into the present. He first published poetry, including mine, in his early small press magazine TOOTHPASTE out of which he created Toothpaste Press.

But when he moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul, he started a new small press publishing venture, COFFEE HOUSE, that challenged the major New York publishers in quality of the authors and consistent breakthroughs in style. Many of the books he edited and published garnered rave reviews in The New York Times and other major media.

When he published my 1997 poetry collection, CANT BE WRONG, I was interviewed for it on NPR's "Book Worm" show with Michael Silverblatt. The prestige of Allan's good taste is what drew that kind of attention to his authors and their books.

Here's the way his hometown newspaper (Minneapolis not New York) reported his passing. I think he'd be very pleased. My condolences to his wife, Cinda, and his daughters and extended family and friends. His energy and input into the world of writing and publishing will be sorely missed.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

STEFAN GIERASCH R.I.P.

Stefan was a friend who I saw pretty frequently in my L.A. life (or as I like to say, my "Hollywood years") but hadn't seen in the years since I moved back to Jersey. A really good guy, smart and interesting, and a wonderful actor (or "character actor" as they always classify non-stars).

His best known roles are listed and linked to in this obit, and keep him alive in the world of movie history and reruns on TV and the net. He had a good long life and many dear friends and accomplished much that he wanted to, so here's to you Stefan, with condolences to your family and many friends and fans among whom I am grateful to be counted.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

PS TO LAST POST

First of all the sound on this video doesn't come close to the sound in the room (I can hardly hear my son's bass in this iPhone recording, or the other instruments very well for that matter, and they were crushing it) and I recorded, I thought, an entire song that was the most dynamic of the night, but it ain't on my phone, so this will have to do as a taste of Edith Pop.

Her influences are Edith Piaf and Iggy Pop, but she reminded me more of Lydia Lunch back when I saw Lunch perform her first show, or what I remember as her first show, in New York, only Pop is more dynamic in person, and ultimately more appealing despite the intensity of some of her lyrics and vocalizing and performing, unfortunately not caught on this clip. You had to be there. So next time, not a bad idea to try to be.

video

Thursday, November 20, 2014

EDITH POP TOMORROW IN NYC

The Brooklyn band my oldest son, Miles, plays bass in is performing tomorrow evening, Friday the 21st at (le) poisson rouge on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, "8PM sharp"... They have been called one of the best new bands on the NYC music scene today. Check out their song "Money" at this link that gives details of their gig tomorrow evening.