music clip of the day


Month: September, 2019

Monday, September 16th

sounds of New York
day one

Jason Kao Hwang Human Rites Trio (JKH, compositions, violin, viola; Ken Filiano, bass; Andrew Drury, drums), live, New York, 7/16/19




reading table

Today is very nothing like / Any other day that once soared / In this place.

—W.S. Graham (1918-1986), from “The Don Brown Route”

Sunday, September 15th


What singers did Al Green listen to before he became “Al Green”?

Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter, 1914-2009), “That Day on Calvary” (C. Jeter), 1957


Saturday, September 14th

Some artists dim over time; others continue to glow.

Neneh Cherry (1964-), “Natural Skin Deep” (N. Cherry, et al.), 2018 (audio, Broken Politics), 2019 (video, directed by Akinola Davies, shot in Beirut)




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Friday, September 13th

I can’t listen to this just once: the moment it ends I want to hear it again.

Womack & Womack, “Teardrops” (C. Womack, L. Womack), 1988




art beat

Robert Frank, photographer, November 9, 1924–September 9 2019

Today, remembering him, we revisit some of our favorite images.

Cafe—Beaufort, South Carolina, 1955




Funeral—St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955/56



View from Hotel Window—Butte, Montana, 1955/56



Rooming house—Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, 1955/56



US 285, New Mexico, 1955

Thursday, September 12th

This song was released in 2011; the words were written in 1861.

David Sylvian (1958-), “I Should Not Dare” (Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]),* 2011 (Died in the Wool)




reading table

I look at my father and mother and Vinnie, and all my friends, and I say no – no, can’t leave them, what if they die when I’m gone.

—Emily Dickinson, letter to friend Jane Humphrey (L86), 1852


*Poem 234 (Franklin):

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because – because if he should die
While I was gone – and I – too late –
Should reach the Heart that wanted me –

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted – hunted so – to see –
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me – they noticed me –

If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I’d come – so sure I’d come –
It listening – listening – went to sleep –
Telling my tardy name –

My Heart would wish it broke before –
Since breaking then – since breaking then –
Were useless as next morning’s sun –
Where midnight frosts – had lain!

Wednesday, September 11th

It was, I recall, a cloudless morning in Chicago, as it was in New York. I had a hearing scheduled in federal court, but then, after the second plane hit, court was cancelled. We sat in front of the television, unable to turn away.

William Basinski (1958-), “Disintegration Loop 1.1,” 2001




reading table

Photograph from September 11
by Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012, MCOTD Hall of Fame), translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.

Tuesday, September 10th


Jürg Frey (1953-), Extended Circular Music No. 4 (2011-2014); Flex Ensemble (Kana Sugimura, violin; Anna Szulc-Kapala, viola; Martha Bijlsma, cello; Endri Nini, piano) with Yoann Trellu (video art), live, Germany (Hannover aka Hanover), 2017




reading table

Moon, plum blossoms,
this, that,
and the day goes.

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), translated from Japanese by Robert Hass

Monday, September 9th

Why not begin the week with something slow, and quiet, and beautiful?

Jürg Frey (1953-), Petit fragment de paysage (Ko Ishikawa, shō; Mari Adachi, viola), Wen 16 (Seiko Takemoto, cello), Petit fragment de paysage (Mari Adachi, viola; Seiko Takemoto, cello); Wen 29 (Mari Adachi, viola); Petit fragment de paysage (Ko Ishikawa, u; Seiko Takemoto, cello), live, Tokyo, 2016




reading table

even poorly planted
rice plants
slowly, slowly . . . green!

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue

Sunday, September 8th


Cissy Houston (1933-, Whitney’s mother, Dionne Warwick’s aunt), “I Do, Don’t You,” live




random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, September 7th

basement jukebox

The Escorts, “Ooh Baby Baby” (S. Robinson, P. Moore), 1973




reading table

The Map
by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still.
Labrador’s yellow, where the moony Eskimo
has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays,
under a glass as if they were expected to blossom,
or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish.
The names of seashore towns run out to sea,
the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains
—the printer here experiencing the same excitement
as when emotion too far exceeds its cause.
These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger
like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods.

Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is,
lending the land their waves’ own conformation:
and Norway’s hare runs south in agitation,
profiles investigate the sea, where land is.
Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors?
—What suits the character or the native waters best.
Topography displays no favorites; North’s as near as West.
More delicate than the historians’ are the map-makers’ colors.

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