Hit List

April 3, 2020

Weed Two: PAPERBACK | Actual Air by David Berman

Curated this week by artist and musician, Harrison Haynes. David Berman is one of my favorite artist/musician/poet people. He died last summer. I first saw this book – his first and only book of poetry – the year it came out, in 1999. I had just moved to New York City and had just started listening to the Silver Jews. The cover photograph is by Roe Etheridge. At the time, all of these things conspired to put me in a big, inspired mood and helped me situate myself creatively. My favorite poem is the first one. It’s called Snow. It has this one line which got lodged indelibly in my brain: “When it’s snowing, the outdoors seems like a room.” – HH
April 3, 2020

Week Two: FLICK | The Double Life of Veronique, 1991, Directed by Krysztof Kieslowski

In high school, I was a projectionist at the local indie movie theater, and The Double Life of Veronique was one of the movies that I projected. I assembled it from six reels into one giant strip of 35mm film, on the projector’s feed platter. Then I watched it over and over and over. Each time I ran it, a layer of its construction fell away, revealing yet another. This movie educated me in a way that felt effortless. It’s about a drop dead gorgeous, young woman who is haunted by her drop dead gorgeous, doppelgänger. Or is it just her self, looped back in time? I’ll never know, but either way, it is, at once, melancholic and joyful. I want to be careful about not using these weekly suggestions to eulogize, given the current mournful void of normalcy we […]
April 3, 2020

Week Two: Sound | The Double Life of Veronique

Week Two: April 3rd SOUND Krzysztof Penderecki with Don Cherry and the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra – Actions Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes – Paix Bill Withers – Still Bill
March 27, 2020

Week One: PAPERBACK | Dispatches, by Michael Herr

I don’t think many people know the influence that Dispatches has had on our collective perception of war and on our imagining of warfare. This is the book that inspired the trance like madness of Apocalypse Now and was the direct source of the grim wit that permeates the dialogue in Full Metal Jacket. It distills Herr’s experience as a Vietnam war correspondent into lucid, non-fiction prose that somehow retains all of the absurdity and fear inspired awe that we all assume to be integral to a combat soldier’s experience. It features photojournalist, Sean Flynn, son of the swashbuckling star, Errol. In Dispatches, Flynn and Herr ping between battle zones, hitching rides on Huey gunships nearly as casually as extending a thumb, until Herr is stranded at the infamous siege of Khe Sanh, where the story reaches a hallucinatory climax. […]
March 27, 2020

Week One: FLICK | Blood Simple, 1984, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

This low budget, Texas, Neo-Noir, is clockwork precise, even though it’s the Coen brothers’ first crack inwhat is now an incredibly varied and prolific filmography. It helped set the bar for an entirely new style of independent filmmaking, and despite its age, it holds up well, buoyed mostly by the intrepid character actor, M. Emmet Walsh, who enchants us with bizarre facial ticks and a sleazy, Texas drawl. This movie is hypnotic from the very first scene where the cadence is determined by a pair of windshield wipers that wack away viscous drops of rain. If you’re looking for an immersive movie that will take you away from the world around you, this is the one. – GJ
March 27, 2020

Week One: SOUND | Peter Grudzien – The Unicorn Dracula – Songs of Love & Melancholy

This week, I’ve got two albums that dance around the themes of Sacred v. Profane, reveling in collective solitude, prophetic hermeticism and meditation on the exalted minutia of the Here & Now. Like a flower from concrete, Peter Grudzien, the “first gay outsider country singer” and lifelong resident of Queens, NY, triumphs through chronic paranoia and makes the marginal magical with the righteous oddity of “The Unicorn.” Dorys and Eli, of Miami’s Dracula, reanimate the dusty green bones of American folk standards and balladry with a thread-bare but supernaturally elegant romancero lilt on “Songs of Love & Melancholy.” Squeezing blood harmony from a stone, this duo managed to quell the aural insanity of 2019’s Savage Weekend with a hushed, sublime 20-minute performance I won’t soon forget. At any rate, both albums are well worth a spin for weary window-gazing. – […]