music clip of the day


Tag: William Bronk

Wednesday, May 27th


Joe Morris (1955-, guitar), live (Quarantine Concert presented by Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago), 5/1/20




random sights

this morning, Chicago (Columbus Park)


reading table

We live in reality without possession or occupation and the love of reality unpossessed transfigures us.

—William Bronk (1918-1999, MCOTD Hall of Fame), “Desire and Denial”

Friday, November 1st

sounds of Ukraine

When you live in a country where words seem to mean less and less, what a relief it can be to listen to a language you know not at all.

Alyona Alyona, live (acoustic session), Slovakia (Pohoda Festival), 2019




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.


Thursday, March 23rd

Soundtrack for a man in a box trying to escape.

Ab Baars (tenor saxophone), “Asor,” live, Amsterdam, 2014



reading table

I thought that you were an anchor in the drift of the world;
but no: there isn’t an anchor anywhere.
There isn’t an anchor in the drift of the world. Oh no.
I thought you were. Oh no. The drift of the world.

—William Bronk (1918-1999, MCOTD Hall of Fame), “The World”

Tuesday, August 30th

MCOTD Hall of Fame

Today drummer Hamid Drake (1955-) enters the MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; trumpeter Lester Bowie; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; composer Morton Feldman; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt. Whatever the situation, he adds oxygen.

DKV Trio (HD, drums; Kent Kessler, bass; Ken Vandermark, baritone saxophone), live, Chicago, 2010

Sunday, January 27th

Today we welcome her to the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, where she joins previous inductees Von Freeman, Wislawa Szymborska, William Bronk, and Lester Bowie.

Dorothy Love Coates, January 30, 1928-April 9, 2002

“The Accident” (Odessa Edwards, speaking), “Get Away Jordan,” “Getting Late in the Evening,” “You Must Be Born Again,” live, Los Angeles, 1955


“You Must Be Born Again,” “He’s Right On Time” TV show (TV Gospel Time), early 1960s


“Won’t Let Go” (AKA “I’m Just Holding On”)


“Strange Man”



reading table: two takes

The old pond— a frog jumps in, sound of water.

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694, translated from Japanese by Robert Hass)

New pond. No sound of a frog jumping in.

—Ryokan (1758-1831, translated from Japanese by Kazuaki Tanahashi)

Thursday, 8/23/12

Music, for some people, is no less vital than oxygen.

James Rhodes, talking and playing (2010)



reading table

To Praise the Music
by William Bronk (1918-1999)

Evening. The trees in late winter bare
against the sky. Still light, the sky.
Trees dark against it. A few leaves
on the trees. Tension in their rigid branches as if
–oh, it is all as if, but as if, yes,
as if they sang songs, as if they praised.
Oh, I envy them. I know the songs.

As if I know some other things besides.
As if; but I don’t know, not more
than to say the trees know. The trees don’t know
and neither do I. What is it keeps me from praise?
I praise. If only to say their songs,
say yes to them, to praise the songs they sing.
Envied music. I sing to praise their song.

(Want to hear Bronk, a MCOTD Hall of Famer, read this? Here.)


art beat: more from Tuesday’s stop at the Art Institute of Chicago

Roy Lichtenstein, Mirror #3 (Six Panels) (1971)


Tuesday, 7/31/12

Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy (LB, trumpet; Malachi Thompson, trumpet; Steve Turre, trombone; Phillip Wilson, drums, et al.), “I Only Have Eyes For You” (H. Warren & A. Dubin), 1984



this just in

Lester Bowie, whose singular playing and presence have often been celebrated here,* has just been inducted, posthumously, into the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and poets Wislawa Szymborska and William Bronk.


*Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Digable Planets). Here (Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy). Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Sun Ra All Stars). And here (Lester Bowie Brass & Steel Band).

Sunday, 4/22/12

two takes

“Feel Like Going Home” (C. Rich)

Charlie Rich (vocals & piano), demo, 1973


Tom Jones with Mark Knopfler (guitar), TV performance, 1996



musical thoughts

I don’t think I ever recorded anyone who was better as a singer, writer, and player than Charlie Rich. It is all so effortless, the way he moves from rock to country to blues to jazz.

Sam Phillips (Sun Records)



Happy Birthday, Charles!

All Mingus, all day: WKCR-FM.


reading table

I thought that you were an anchor in the drift of the world;
but no: there isn’t an anchor anywhere.
There isn’t an anchor in the drift of the world. Oh no.
I thought you were. Oh no. The drift of the world.

—William Bronk,* “The World” (mp3 [Hudson Falls, NY, 1978], Selected Poems [1995])


*Bronk, who died in 1999, was recently inducted, posthumously, into the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and poet Wislawa Szymborska.

Saturday, 3/12/11

Have you heard of Brandt Brauer Frick?

Rachael Z., the 20-something stylist who cuts my hair

The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, live (rehearsal), Germany (Berlin), 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.



reading table


Me — a teenager?
If she suddenly stood, here, now, before me,
would I need to treat her as near and dear,
although she’s strange to me, and distant?

Shed a tear, kiss her brow
for the simple reason
that we share a birthdate?

So many dissimilarities between us
that only the bones are likely still the same,
the cranial vault, the eye sockets.

Since her eyes seem a little larger,
her eyelashes are longer, she’s taller
and the whole body is closely sheathed
in smooth, unblemished skin.

Relatives and friends still link us, it is true,
but in her world almost all are living,
while in mine almost no one survives
from that shared circle.

We differ so profoundly,
talk and think about completely different things.
She knows next to nothing —
but with a doggedness deserving better causes.
I know much more —
but nothing for sure.

She shows me poems,
written in a clear and careful script
that I haven’t used for years.

I read the poems, read them.
Well, maybe that one
if it were shorter
and fixed in a couple of places.
The rest do not bode well.

The conversation stumbles.
On her pathetic watch
time is still cheap and unsteady.
On mine it’s far more precious and precise.

Nothing in parting, a fixed smile
and no emotion.

Only when she vanishes,
leaving her scarf in her haste.

A scarf of genuine wool,
in colored stripes
crocheted for her
by our mother.

I’ve still got it.

—Wislawa Szymborska (trans. Clare CavanaghStanisław Barańczak; Here [2010])


five desert-island poets

Wislawa Szymborska

William Bronk

John Berryman

Emily Dickinson

Kobayashi Issa

Thursday, 1/20/11

Some voices seem to come from another world.

Skip James, “Devil Got My Woman,” 1931

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More? Here.



reading table: variations on a theme

I sometimes think that an idea is the worst thing that can happen to a writer.

—David Vann, New York Times, 1/14/11


[A]ll ideas . . . fail to work at some point . . .

—David Kirby, “L’Explication de Tasty-Fuck”


Ideas are always wrong.

—William Bronk, “Blue Spruces in Pairs, A Bird Bath Between”

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