Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://culturecatch.com/node/feed en Song of the Week: "Everything Is Falling Apart" http://culturecatch.com/node/3823 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Everything Is Falling Apart&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 20, 2019 - 13:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AffiHHlAbWQ?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>That sumptuous indie rock jangle is back! All the way from Scotland, Teenage Fanclub, 30 years together, have released one of the best singles of this new year. A toe-tapin' homage to middle-age life's angst. From the album of the same name <em>Everything Is Falling Apart</em>. This epic tune features the band's new official touring line-up: original members Raymond McGinley (vocals, guitar) and Norman Blake (guitar, backing vocals), with Francis Macdonald (drums, backing vocals), David McGowan (bass, backing vocals), and Euros Childs (keys, backing vocals). The video was filmed by Donald Milne on location at Clouds Hill Recordings, Hamburg, Germany in January 2019. Get tickets for Teenage Fanclub's upcoming North American tour here: <a href="https://www.teenagefanclub.com/live/" rel="nofollow" spellcheck="false" target="_blank" title="Teenage Fanclub tickets">https://www.teenagefanclub.com/live/</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3823&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="IyQA-HyrXzW3QZWGBpr9mCqziHy59X7d-N2tsImQ0Bo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:58:53 +0000 Dusty Wright 3823 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3823#comments Quote of the Week: Thomas Jefferson http://culturecatch.com/QOTW/thomas-jefferson <span>Quote of the Week: Thomas Jefferson</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/436" lang="" about="/user/436" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">shifra harris</a></span> <span>February 17, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/460" hreflang="en">celebrity quote</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="549" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/thomas-jefferson.jpg?itok=gLsXqWOs" title="thomas-jefferson.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo: Wikicommons</figcaption></figure><p>"While the farmer holds title to the land, actually, it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil."</p> <p><a href="http://mrgrayshow.com" target="_blank">Thomas Jefferson</a> <span class="st">(13 April 1743 - 4 July 1826), </span>principal author of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence" target="_blank" title="United States Declaration of Independence">United States Declaration of Independence</a> (1776) and the 3rd <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States" target="_blank" title="President of the United States">President of the United States</a> (1801–1809).</p> <!--break--></div> <section> </section> Sun, 17 Feb 2019 15:00:00 +0000 shifra harris 2411 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/QOTW/thomas-jefferson#comments Regional Impact: Art North of NYC http://culturecatch.com/node/3822 <span>Regional Impact: Art North of NYC</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>February 16, 2019 - 11:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">painters</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1807" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/angela_dufresne_kerry_downey.jpg?itok=Ou8Yii_H" title="angela_dufresne_kerry_downey.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Angela Dufresne, Kerry Downey, 2016, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist</figcaption></figure><p>The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art stands as a consistent reminder that a regional museum can play a major role in the presentation and understanding of Contemporary Art, as well as offering a showplace for antiquity and Modern Art. Currently, the museum features four outstanding exhibitions that are presented thoughtfully and with a very high level of professionalism.</p> <p>First, is the energetic and inviting painting exhibition <i>Just My Type: Angela Dufresne</i>. In it, are a number of life-sized portraits that begin with a half dozen multi-layered room-scapes dominated by a lone and oft times luxuriating figure. In each, we see overlapping veils of color, line and wash-based abstraction executed in thin, fluid oil paint. Gradually and effortlessly Dufresne's painterly references directly and indirectly elicit form and depth, ultimately translating into an interior setting. This all comes about much in the same way a sculptor may work, beginning with a wire or wooden armature with the intent of adding more 'solid' materials to flesh out the forms. When considering the narrative elements here, paintings such as <i>David Humphrey</i> (2009) and <i>Leigh Ledare</i> (2007) show figures in repose, as one can assume, after a long day of exhausting creative activity. That unique combination of semi-transparent representation and 'artist as subject' gives these works their characteristic unpredictability -- as they are more like a conversation between two creative minds than a portrait of a lone, posing or distracted individual.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="772" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/david_humphrey_painting.jpg?itok=EJ1ACdxQ" title="david_humphrey_painting.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Angela Dufresne, David Humphrey, 2009, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist</figcaption></figure><p>Other examples of portraiture, such as <i>Tomaso de Luca</i> (2017), <i>Kerry Downey</i> (2016) and <i>William E. Jones</i> (2017), have much simpler backgrounds than the aforementioned works. With the subjects surrounded by one color, you may begin to register certain details such as the strong spindly fingers and the bigger than life personalities that may lead one to consider the influence of Egon Schiele or Alice Neel. As a result, this more emotional type allows the personal traits of the subjects to dominate, thus enhancing the their individuality. On the other hand, the use of a monochromatic wash of color to surround the figures intensifies their focus, which in some instances, as in the portrait of Kerry Downey, puts forth a hint of anxiousness or impatience - not an unusual response to sitting still for a portrait.</p> <p>Around the corner from this first exhibition is a show that features a new addition of art to the museum. <i>In Celebration: A Recent Gift From the Photography Collection of Marcuse Pfeifer</i> is a stunning display of intensely alluring black and white photography from the apex of Modernism to the late '80’s. Included is Bernice Abbott’s famous portrait <i>James Joyce (from the series "Faces of the '20's")</i> (1928), which combines the dynamics created by a subtle gesture, opposing angles and corralled visual voids with more than a bit of fashionable flair. Also from the same series, and in stark contrast to Joyce, is the imposing form of <i>Princess Eugene Murat</i> (1928) that forcefully divides the composition into two corresponding triangles. Alternatively, and from the same series, is <i>Buddy Gilmore</i> (1926-27) where we see the projection of pure joy through an obvious celebration of life and a love of music that shifts up and out of the picture plane in a series of circles, shadows and suggestive signals.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1197" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/peter_hujar_susan_sontag.jpg?itok=Ae9-ksFG" title="peter_hujar_susan_sontag.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag, 1975, Gelatin silver print, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC; Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, NYC</figcaption></figure><p>Max Yavno's <i>Muscle Beach, Los Angeles</i> (1949) and <i>Cable car, San Francisco</i> (1947) are wonderful, classic West Coast moments that are beautifully composed and impeccably nuanced. The work of Peter Hujar shows great versatility as he moves from the stone cold daunting geometry of <i>New York: Sixth Avenue (I &amp; II)</i> (1976) to the thought filled serenity of <i>Susan Sontag</i> (1975). In both instances, the texture of the numerous parallel lines in Sontag's sweater and the striations in the New York Citys looming behemoths links the aesthetic, while the starkness in the background above the skyscrapers and the reclining figure creates a palpable level of quietude.</p> <p>August Sander offers a different level of contrast between the bleakness of the woman in <i>Rural Bride</i> (1921-22), and the sophisticated citified form in <i>High School Student</i> (1926), both clearly defining the era's varied levels of poverty and privilege. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="717" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/view-of-linda-mary-montano.jpg?itok=xD9NMtHp" title="view-of-linda-mary-montano.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Installation View of Linda Mary Montano: The Art Life Hospital, 2019, © Bob Wagner</figcaption></figure><p>Of the other two exhibitions, one is a tribute to the 150th anniversary of nearby Mohonk Mountain House featuring wonderful archival photographs, plus student interpretations of various images of the past. Then there is an incredible, multi-faceted one-person exhibition by Linda Mary Montano titled <i>The Art/Life Hospital</i>. This exhibition references Montano's stellar career as a performance and installation artist, coupled with intriguing mixed media sculptures, wildly suggestive drawings, fascinating videos and a very active set of participatory chalk boards that key off the colors of the chakra. Much of what is here is the artist dealing with late-in-life issues and realizations as well as her life-long spiritual and faith based beliefs that fill the space with a very potent reality. <i>The Art/Life Hospital</i> was organized by Anastasia James, and runs through April 14, 2019.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="839" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/mohonk_mountain_house_photo.jpg?itok=T-mzTKsj" title="mohonk_mountain_house_photo.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>F. D. Lewis, Mohonk Mountain House, 1899, vintage gelatin silver print, photograph</figcaption></figure><p><i>Mohonk Mountain House at 150</i>; <i>Just My Type: Angela Dufresne</i>, which was curated by Anastasia James and Melissa Ragona; and <i>In Celebration: A Recent Gift From the Photography Collection of Marcuse Pfeifer</i>, which was curated by Wayne Lempka, all are on display through July 14, 2019. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is located on the campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz at 1 Hawk Drive. There are a number of events planned during the run of these four exhibitions, so please visit the museum's website for more details:  <a href="https://www.newpaltz.edu/museum/" target="_blank">https://www.newpaltz.edu/museum/</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3822&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="gR9ATyAQJFLus6FK3Cq4UB5AALkim1zy6PnCBsilEHU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 16 Feb 2019 16:23:53 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3822 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3822#comments Revolving Dervishes http://culturecatch.com/node/3821 <span>Revolving Dervishes </span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>February 13, 2019 - 09:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="857" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-02/medusa_volution.jpg?itok=hmrhen14" title="medusa_volution.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo by Caroline Mardok</figcaption></figure><p><i>Medusa Volution</i></p> <p>Written by Sophie Amieva and Susu Bagert</p> <p>Created and directed by Sophie Amieva</p> <p>Presented by Samieva Theater Company at happylucky no. 1, NYC</p> <p>February 8-24, 2019</p> <p>If the first word that you would use to describe Medusa, one of three Gorgon sisters, is monster, the conceptually ambitious <i>Medusa Volution</i> would like to change your mind. Created, co-written (with Susu Bagert), and directed by Sophie Amieva, <i>Medusa Volution</i> packs a millenia-spanning deconstruction of the Othering of women into the extremely intimate space of Brooklyn's happylucky no. 1. Carol S. Lashof's one-act <i>Medusa's Tale</i>, originally published in 1991, offers an interesting point of comparison. While it too works to rehabilitate Medusa in a feminist context, where it focuses on a primarily naturalistic recounting of Medusa's rape by the god Poseidon and reimagining of her encounter with demi-god Perseus, Amieva and Bagert's play employs Medusa as the fulcrum of a wide-ranging, polyvocal blurring of ancient and contemporary narratives performed by a diverse, all-female or non-binary cast. </p> <p>"Volution" denotes a revolving movement, here perhaps suggestive of the way in which the play and its concerns revolve around and return to the figure of Medusa, or perhaps, and more significantly, suggestive of the historical cycles of misogyny by which women, real and fictional, who step beyond any number of prescribed roles or behaviors are represented as monstrous. The play positions a forceful example of such policing early on, with reporter Maria Nazarine (Gabrielle Young) -- whose name evokes the closest thing that Christianity has to a goddess -- being constantly interrupted as she tries to introduce the story of Medusa's trial by criticisms from two Grotesques (Kayla Juntilla and Chandler Eliah Eason) whose maleness is signified by oversized stuffed genitals. Tellingly, while Maria keeps modifying her delivery in response to their gendered insults, critiques, and explicit jokes, the Grotesques respond aggressively when she makes a single dirty joke with a man as its butt. Medusa's trial itself echoes the imbalance of Maria's situation: in the midst of what is referred to as a #MeToo moment for the serial-sexual-assaulter classical gods, it is nevertheless and emblematically Medusa who is on trial for fornication rather than Poseidon for rape.</p> <p>Later, Portia (Kayla Juntilla) acts as Medusa's defense lawyer, presumably turning the courtroom experience gained in <i>The Merchant of Venice</i> towards new and better ends. The trial represents one part of the play's much larger mosaic. It looks back to ancient creation stories, for instance, outlining the initial dominance of matriarchal goddess figures and their later supersession by gods, a process that included the transformation of the serpents and serpent forms associated with the goddesses into monsters and enemies to be slain. This recasting of the serpent appears, of course, in the Christian creation story, and the play engages in its own reimagining of Adam (in a very funny performance by Julia Cavagna) as an oblivious bro who watches too much porn and of Eve's (Irina Varina) biting the apple as a bid for independence. Apples and a broom, in fact, are the play's only props, and one of these apples figures prominently in a series of vignettes (additionally, the floor-to-ceiling windows at the rear of the performance space look into what could be interpreted as an inaccessible garden). The vignettes, in which a variety of women recount experiences ranging from a first Catholic confession to a less-than-inspiring date to a divorcée's questioning of her pursuit of the default goals of the "girl dream," do an excellent job giving voice to the internalization of patriarchal norms by which women participate in their own oppression. Salome's (Chandler Eliah Eason) telling of her story renders John the Baptist's beheading as a sort of self-defensive mirror of Medusa's beheading. Earlier, the play has pointed out that Medusa's body, once she is cursed, becomes itself a weapon, and perhaps that idea carries over (along with an apple) into an extended final dance movement section. This wordless coda features a Medusa (Sophie Amieva) whose movements are redolent of struggle and resistance, the deliberate, almost dreamy pace of which contrasts with the rest of play.</p> <p><i>Medusa Volution </i>boasts impressive use of movement throughout, a number of evocatively written passages, and several striking images, including a climactic tableau and a use of plastic tarps that recalls (and inverts) the end of Julie Taymor's <i>Titus</i>. Everyone in the ensemble -- Amieva, Cavagna, Eason, Juntilla, Young, Julia Gu, and Irina Varina -- gets a chance at some point to be the focus, and all turn in strong performances, with Eason's one of the standouts, both as a Grotesque and as Salome. A patriarchal and patrilineal system requires control of women's agency and, more particularly, their sexuality, resulting in institutions set up to do just that. <i>Medusa Volution </i>limns a monstrous regiment of women both supernatural and mortal in order to unsettle perspectives normalized by that system, and you don't even need a mirrored shield to watch it. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <a id="comment-643"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1550428576"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/643#comment-643" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">&quot;Revolving Dervishes&quot;</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sounds fascinating, very funny, provocative. Can it play in Philadelphia?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=643&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LxTm7r2u-N98SpPsBwBoCqQ_p_TWWHgvjEn2x0EwYyY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/index.php/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Sobel</span> on February 16, 2019 - 12:15</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3821&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Htsh7gzbZtOHcTVyTcs6sz9nmqDyBnurp73dQjN_Oik"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:58:24 +0000 Leah Richards 3821 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3821#comments Song of the Week: "Echoes" http://culturecatch.com/node/3820 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Echoes&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 8, 2019 - 09:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e8iO1kmY8A8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Americana prog cover tune anyone? If anyone could pull it off it would be the much-beloved Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo <a href="www.rodgab.com/" target="_blank">Rodrigo y Gabriela</a>. Huge fans of Pink Floyd, "Echoes" is from their latest album entitled <i>Mettavolution </i>(ATO Records), released on April 26th. It takes up one half of their new album, much like the song did when it was originally released on Pink Floyd's <em>Meddle</em> album in 1971. But this is a much different journey, one accented by stunning acoustic guitar work, the duos interplay creating their own mesmerizing and psychedelic acoustic textures. Sit back and enjoy.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3820&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="qHvumWpnAK7pNTtDDTjW655M6VkUMVgH_Y_1j0X_NFY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:59:28 +0000 Dusty Wright 3820 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3820#comments 'Tweeners! http://culturecatch.com/dusty/tweeners <span>&#039;Tweeners!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 5, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/curios" hreflang="en">Curios</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/696" hreflang="en">tweeners</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/697" hreflang="en">middle age</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lVs8fcpLje0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>I few years ago I attended a marketing meeting discussing how to market websites, how to target an e-commerce group, how to attract brand names to that target group, and it got me thinking about how we market things in general. Marketing gurus need to find target audiences for whatever brand they are trying sell. Target the brand and find your core audience and then smack that audience over the head with your pitch and pomp. Eventually they will see the value in that product or service or website and all will be right in the universe.</p> <p>While I find value in that for a revenue stream, I also loathe it for being so narrow-visioned on a practical front. <!--break-->Why can't you just like or use something regardless of who you are or how old you may be? Can I not enjoy Lucky Charms anymore because I'm sixty-something? What group do I belong to? Do I even have a marketing group that these number crunchers fret and crunch over?</p> <p>My g-g-g-genration is too young for Baby Boomer status and too old for the Slacker generation. We don't have a niche that Madison Avenue has ever really been able to define.</p> <p><em>We are the 'Tweeners!</em></p> <p>We are so overly mistaken for being another generation when we are clearly not. We were born in the late '50s/early '60s ('56-'65) and still think that Disco sucks, Farrah was our prepubescent poster girl, and the original Scooby Do our cultural hero.</p> <p>But who defines the 'Tweeners?</p> <p>Well, I must give credit to my former literary agent. She said to me one day, "Why don't you write a book for the 'Tweeners," and then launched into her succinct definition. I was inspired. I finally had a group to which a book publisher's marketing division could market. So I began churning out all kinds of book proposals that went nowhere fast. What was wrong? Couldn't they read 'tween the lines? Was I too old for my peers in mind and spirit? I can't be in my sixties and think like a 40-year-old, I opined. I need to dance with a younger audience. I need to run naked -- hey, we 'Tweeners practically invented streaking in the '70s -- and commune with the youthful folly and hip music and hipper clothes and postures of today. After all, all of the cool things we wore in the '70s are fashionable again today.</p> <p>Growing up we had bicycles with banana seats, loved The Monkees, space food sticks, Tang, Peter Frampton, silly putty. We read <em>Creem</em> and not <em>Rolling Stone</em>. <em>The Love Boat</em> was our favorite voyage. And speaking of television shows... c'mon, admit how much you really loved <em>That 70's Show</em>.</p> <p>As a tennis enthusiast, "Super Brat" John McEnroe is one of ours, the coolest tennis player ever to argue an errant line call, and a former neighbor of mine. And check this out, he's married to former Scandal lead singer Patty Smyth, another 'Tweener. Ditto for jazz giant Wynton Marsalis. And let's not forget Michael Jackson, Sade, and Prince!</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RrxePKps87k?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>But at least, if all else failed, I had a group to which I belonged. We were not the polemic radicals of our older brothers and sisters who burned their draft cards and bras. We didn't have "be-ins," Haight Ashbury, Kent State, Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, et al. We had punk rock, lots of it, and some of us even adopted Billy Idol as our rock and roll patron saint even though he was born in 1955. (Yeah, lame as it may be, he's the sneering 'Tweeners' Ozzy! Though I prefer the darker song catalog of 'Tweener Nick Cave.) Sure, we had Disco, but I never I loved it. Well, okay maybe Chic or Travolta strutting down the street in <em>Saturday Night Fever</em> to that classic Bee Gees tune "Stayin' Alive." And he was born in '54 so he's technically a Baby Boomer.</p> <p>I would like to propose this: if 70 is the new 60, then 60 is the new 40, and "my generation" is stepping on the marketing toes of another generation again cuz we ain't no stinking Gen Xers. Wait, that can't be right. That means we don't have a niche again. How can I possibly market anything to anyone if I don't know where I fit in? Who is my target group? Do I have to stay in this group or can I reapply for status in another? Maybe me and my fellow 'Tweeners are cross-generational? Oh, the humanity. Time to play "Stayin' Alive."</p> </div> <section> </section> Tue, 05 Feb 2019 15:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 73 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/dusty/tweeners#comments Quote of the Week: Baker Mayfield http://culturecatch.com/node/3819 <span>Quote of the Week: Baker Mayfield</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 4, 2019 - 10:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/694" hreflang="en">NFL</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/695" hreflang="en">pro sports</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/460" hreflang="en">celebrity quote</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tJjiIuH1VnY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"When I woke up this morning, I was feeling pretty dangerous."</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield" target="_blank">Baker Mayfield</a> (April 14, 1995), National Football League (NFL) quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, former Heisman Trophy winner  (2017), and future Super Bowl MVP.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3819&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Yfd2Qj5fXY2VwQiIfa3WpqM-r2PuInLJcr4pI1rcLtA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 04 Feb 2019 15:28:58 +0000 Dusty Wright 3819 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3819#comments Song of the Week: I Tried http://culturecatch.com/node/3818 <span>Song of the Week: I Tried</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 26, 2019 - 10:29</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_cPcjBdTHYg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Austin-based Americana singer-songwriter <a href="https://www.robbairdmusic.com/" target="_blank">Rob Baird</a> has been steadily building an audience of fans and critics since his 2010 debut. This mid-tempo ballad from his fine new album <em>After All</em> is one of ten wonderfully heartfelt moments on his fourth long player. He crafts his songs out of deeply felt experiences and he delivers them with a plaintive simplicity that will make you sit up a notice.  "Making my way out of DLA  / Runnin' with the light of the breaking day..."</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3818&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="2nrNDdDzPBDxmzDyOpJDX7PUDJ4v17LB5P4SdCmtRgM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 26 Jan 2019 15:29:27 +0000 Dusty Wright 3818 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3818#comments A Long Life In Words http://culturecatch.com/node/3817 <span>A Long Life In Words</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/460" lang="" about="/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>January 25, 2019 - 10:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/literary" hreflang="en">Literary Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/553" hreflang="en">celebrity obit</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/689" hreflang="en">author</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_KR1wPK8T4Q?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>A Long Life In Words</p> <p>Diana Athill, 1917-2019</p> <p>Editor and Memoirist</p> <p>At a time when most people have left the building, or are in the process of preparing to do so, Diana Athill found herself embarking upon a career of tremendous literary success in 2008 at the age of 90. Her book about old age <em>Somewhere Towards The End</em> became a surprise bestseller, and she a regular contributor to the papers, invited to speak on the radio, and a doyenne of many a literature festival. It won the Costa Award for biography that year and was unflinching in the way it dealt with the passage of time. In it she remarked of one elderly friend's abiding faith in the restorative power of red lipstick, observing that the way it bled into the cracks around her mouth rather left her resembling a vampire bat that'd been interrupted mid-lunch. She was equally unflattering about her own foibles, and the diminishment of any remnant of sexual cachet.</p> <p>Books had been Athill's life, the editing, promotion, and the production of them at Andre Deutsch, so her new career was simply a late and logical extension of that. She had cast her meticulous eye over offerings from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, V S Naipaul, a writer whose work she greatly admired, but that feeling didn't extend towards its creator, Philip Roth Jean Rhys and John Updike. Her influence on the literary output of the last century has yet to be fully realised, and reads like a "Who's Who" of the great, the good and the gone. She didn't retire as an editor till she was seventy five years old, in fact Diana Athill never really retired.</p> <p>Athill only published two works of fiction by her own pen <em>An Unavoidable Delay, </em>a collection of short stories in 1962, and the remarkable, if still somewhat underrated, <em>Don't Look At Me Like That</em> in 1967, a novel which concerns a free-wheeling girl living against the grain of conventional standards. Despite her rather reserved manner and appearance, she was unorthodox in her outlook and behaviour. Her lack of fiction allowed her to trawl her long life, and it was one cluttered with unusual incidents and characters, and these she dissected with shocking frankness. An initial literary splash was created in 1963 with 'Instead Of A Letter', a book that pre-dates by decades the confessional memoir. It concerns her failed relationship with Tony Irvine, an RAF pilot with whom she fell in love at the age of fifteen. When he married another girl she was devastated, a wound detailed years after in that book. It took her years to apparently recover, but when she did she was initially distant in relationships, and the developed a liking for, in her own words "'lame ducks" and "oppressed foreigners."</p> <p>Diana Athill was born in Norfolk on 21st December 1917 into a privileged background at Ditchingham Hall which she detailed in her 2002 book <em>Yesterday Morning, A Very English Childhood</em>. She graduated in 1939 from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and spent the war years working for the BBC. In 1952 Athill helped Andre Deutsch found the publishing house that bore his name. This she used as the basis for her tremendously readable 'Stet' her memoir of her life as an editor, published in 2000. She successfully translated several French novels that their imprint championed. Instrumental in the late second flowering in the 1980's of the Irish novelist Molly Keane,1904-1996 who had been successful as M.J Farrell in the 1930s through to the '50s, she also had long, often difficult dealings with the writer Jean Rhys, 1890-1979, a gifted, reclusive author, but a chronic alcoholic. </p> <p>Athill's private life was far from conventional. Her longest relationship was with the Jamaican playwright Barry Reckford (1926-2011). It lasted a mere eight years of the forty of which he shared her Hampstead flat, at one time with his much younger girlfriend, who moved in at Athill's suggestion. She and the girl became good friends, a period which she described as being amongst the two happiest two years of her life. It was she remarked a "detatched sort of marriage." It was by the standards of the time, a progressively interracial one, and not what was expected from a woman of her background. In the early sixties she became emotionally involved with the gifted but manic depressive Egyptian novelist Waguih Ghali circa 1927-1969. It was a toxic and manipulative affair, consummated only once in a drunken fervour. He'd leave his diary open, fully aware that Athill would read his unflattering opinions of herself. Ghali committed suicide in her flat, a torrid tragedy that she would later dissect with incredible honesty in <em>After A Funeral</em> published in 1983. Her other strange and significant affair was with Akim Jamal 1931-73, a cousin to Malcolm X who believed he was God. Athill managed to get his autobiography <em>From The Dead Level: Malcom X and Me</em> published in 1971, a period briefly touched upon in the 2008 movie <em>The Bank Job</em> where he is played by Colin Salmon. She retraces their relationship in <em>Make Believe</em> which was published in 1993 and brilliantly observes his descent into madness and delusional activity. Jamal was shot dead in a Black Power factional struggle in Boston in 1973.</p> <p>Athill was of the generation that still wrote and valued letters, but was far from absent from the computer world. Once in a correspondence with me about Waguih Ghali a parcel arrived in the mail. It was her own copy, and only one that she possessed of his lone novel <em>Beers At The Snooker Club</em>. Unsolicited, she lent it to me, aware it was then hard to find, and felt that we had corresponded sufficiently for her to entrust it to me. She also ruefully remarked that it was a shame that having once written such a wonderful book that it was a feat he would never repeat, then adding that to do it once was perhaps a sufficient achievement in itself. Read and returned in utter agreement with her assessment of the book's worth, it remains a rare and valued act of emotional charity, as well as her taking the time to cast her eye over my poems, and to respond with precise and accurate suggestions for their improvement.</p> <p>In 2009 Athill was made a OBE in the New Year's Honours List, and was the subject of <em>Growing Old Disgracefully,</em> a BBC documentary of her life. She was described as one of the best dressed women over 50 by <em>The Guardian</em> in 2013. Having opted to move into a care home for for sprightly seniors in North London, she was sorry to lose so many books in order to facilitate such a drastic transition to one room living transition, but adored her new surroundings calling it, "A life free of worries and a snug little nest." Her 2015 book <em>Alive, Alive Oh!</em> covers this period of her life. As she passed her century she was still writing and broadcasting, a force of nature, and a trail blazer from a time when women in publishing were there to either type or make coffee. One of her many adagesm -- "Enjoy yourself as much as you can without doing damage to other people" -- is rather like her books, direct and deceptively simple, but much more difficult to achieve in the process of any life, let alone one as long and productive as hers.</p> <p>Her books are laced with astute observations, wry comments on the human condition, and are a crash course in brevity, and the fine art of a deceptively simple style.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3817&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="96Fd4GDjne_y_pA46ehDvYHgQShdwSTQGfqb31FRuuw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:10:32 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3817 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3817#comments Wicked, Wicked Woman http://culturecatch.com/node/3816 <span>Wicked, Wicked Woman</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>January 23, 2019 - 21:30</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-01/wickedest-woman-play.jpg?itok=Cz2x8DJt" title="wickedest-woman-play.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo by Braddon Lee Murphy</figcaption></figure><p><i>Wickedest Woman</i></p> <p>Written by Jessica Bashline</p> <p>Directed by Melissa Crespo</p> <p>Presented by Strange Sun Theater at the WP Theater, NYC</p> <p>January 19-February 2, 2019</p> <p>January 19th witnessed the third annual day of Women's Marches throughout and beyond the United States. The same day saw the opening of Strange Sun Theater's production of <i>Wickedest Woman</i>, a play that reminds us why actions such as these marches continue to be necessary while it highlights the life of a woman who made significant contributions to women's health, particularly in New York City, in the 19th century. The engrossing <i>Wickedest Woman</i> is based on the true story of the rise and persecution of Ann Trow Lohman, the titular "Wickedest Woman in New York," according to her opponents; and playwright Jessica Bashline's presentation of Lohman's decades-long career as a midwife and contraception, adoption, and abortion provider suggests that draconian restrictions around sexuality and reproductive health are as much about broader questions of power as they are about the morality that they employ as a shield.</p> <p>After some framing that includes the assertion that a woman must, presumably like Lady Macbeth, un-sex herself in order to perform an abortion, the play shows us a 16 year-old Ann (Jessica O'Hara-Baker) whose impoverished mother (Jasmin Walker) has just discovered, to her dismay, that she is pregnant again. While her mother wants more for Ann than domestic duties and a family that she cannot afford to feed, Ann herself is soon enough headed from her native England to America as a wife and mother. After the loss of her tailor husband Henry Sommers (Evan Daves) leaves Ann and her infant daughter Caroline at loose ends, a chance conversation with a Dr. Evans (Dawn McGee) results in her becoming what amounts to his apprentice and sets her on a path that will both being her great personal and professional success and put her on a collision course with ideological enemies and tightening legal restrictions on not only abortion (legal until 1867 before what was termed "the quickening," when the woman could feel the fetus move, typically around four months) but also and even on matters such as the distribution of medical literature depicting the female anatomy (the movement of the line for what the characters consider "impossible" constitutes a sharp reminder for contemporary audiences, should they need one, of how changes in social norms are not always progressive, as does the complicity of the press). Another chance conversation leads to her second marriage, to fellow immigrant Charles Lohman (Jose-Maria Aguila), who pushes her to start her own practice and to adopt the pseudonym Madame Restell for marketing purposes. Charles becomes Ann's steadfast partner in business and in life, supporting her through not only her legal conflicts but also a falling out with Caroline (Emily Gardner Xu Hall) that echoes Ann's with her own mother.</p> <p><i>Wickedest Woman </i>deftly strikes these sorts of balances, whether it be in depicting Ann's personal and professional triumphs and struggles or demonstrating the relationship of her individual story to larger social currents. One might also detect a parallel between the repetitions in the stories of Ann, her mother, and her daughter and the cyclical elements of criminalizing women's health. For example, the newly-formed American Medical Association's role in criminalizing abortion represents part of a broader power grab by male physicians against midwives using basically the same strategy that in earlier centuries would have included accusations of witchcraft. As Ann angrily instructs Caroline, life is a continuous fight rather than some singular event followed by unchanging and unchallenged ease. Ann's admonishment in that moment is part of yet another balance, one which ensures that she remains a complex character rather than a symbol or a saint; her stubborn streak, for instance, serves her better in her vocation than in attempting to control Caroline.</p> <p>The production is replete with great details, from gender-blind doubling of the cast, to the semi-impressionistic set with its motifs of cubbyholes and round or rounded openings, the mix of accents in the play's NYC, and the effective snatches of traditional songs. A production of a biographical play is only as strong as the performer playing its protagonist, and O'Hara-Baker is superb. Her complex, deeply human, and dignified portrayal of Ann is enthralling right through its moving conclusion. Aguila's Charles is charming, strong-willed, and caring, while Gardner Xu Hall affectingly embodies the tensions between Caroline's desire for self-determination and love for her mother. The rest of the cast brings strong performances to a range of roles, with McGee notably generating some of the biggest laughs in comic relief parts before pivoting to an emotional turn in the late-stage trial scene (which, significantly, finds everyone except Ann extremely reluctant to speak plainly).</p> <p>A decade before Ann Lohman's death, Horatio Alger, Jr. found enormous success writing rags-to-riches novels centered on young males. Change the protagonist to a woman, however, and her work to women's health, and the public was less enamoured, especially when the story was a true one. Ann, in <i>Wickedest Woman</i>, not only courageously continues to practice even though she knows that the "tide is turning" but equally bravely refuses to allow her story to be reduced to its ending. This is one time that seeing the doctor is something to look forward to. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3816&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="ItXq8FpEyPzu8FN202alcSyx9RfAw2aRwMxDbGsUZjI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 24 Jan 2019 02:30:32 +0000 Leah Richards 3816 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3816#comments