The First Jesuits
by John O'Malley
Harvard University Press
How can you even have an opinion about the world around you without possessing a solid understanding of the history of the Christian faith? The expansion of Christianity is maybe the single most important event in the history of human existence. I'm not speaking as a believer- I'm not. I do believe that the world look the way it does today largely because of Christianity. It's a big subject. You've got: pre origins, origins, expansion, foundation of the Roman church, conversion of Europe, Christianity in the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Counter Reformation, the world wide expansion and Christianity in the modern era. Phew!
The First Jesuits is a fair handed account of the creation of the Jesuit order in the 16th century. The Jesuits was a religious order started by St. Ignatius. He was raised a Spanish nobleman in the Basque region of the Iberian peninsula. He fought for the King of Spain, was wounded and experienced a religious conversion (which means he wasn't that religious, and then he became religious.) Spent some time begging n preaching in Spain, then went to France, where he studied at the University of Paris. While he was there he was exposed to the humanism of Erasmus. Erasmus, a Catholic himself, was someone who influenced reformers like Martin Luther with his argument that people should, you know, actually be able to understand scripture and read books and stuff like that. You know: Humanism.
Influenced by this perspective, Ignatius and some of his buddies moved down to Italy- splitting time between Venice and Rome. Here, Ignatius and his bros decided to start a new order that would be different then monastic orders like the Benedictines and the Dominicans. Specifically, he imagined a traveling group of brothers that would move from place to place, teaching and preaching. It was a bold move in it's time, and it aroused a fair amount of controversy. Jesuits were hauled before the Inquisition on several occasions and accused of practicing Protestantism. Hilarious!
Eventually of course, the Jesuits would fan out and start schools all over the world. In fact, it's fair to say that modern education sort of started with the Jesuits. They really were revolutionary, and there is a lot to recommend about their thought and their methods. After all: The Jesuits delivered results. No misery and hand wringing here. It's something that practitioners of modern day DIY should stop and think about. If you have the true faith, doubt doesn't enter into the analysis.
Dedicated to classics and hits.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
The First Jesuits
Friday, April 30, 2010
US REP DUNCAN HUNTER: DEPORT US BORN CITIZENS WHO ARE CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (SIGNONSANDIEGO)
Your east county congressman, ladies and gentlemen.
Posted by catdirt at 7:58 AM
Boogie-woogie is a style of piano-based blues that became very popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but originated much earlier, and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once,guitar, big band, and country and western music, and even gospel. Whilst the blues traditionally depicts a variety of emotions, boogie-woogie is mainly associated with dancing. It's believed boogie-woogie gave birth to the earliest versions of uptempo music. (WIKI)
Posted by catdirt at 7:54 AM
Thursday, April 29, 2010
American Bandstand starts: July, 1956.
Elvis Presley first LP released: March, 1956
Elvis Presley initial television appearance, April, 1956.
50s nostalgia, let's give it a go again yeah. My favorite part? The racism. What happened to casual racism, it used to be so fun.
Posted by catdirt at 8:11 AM
The T.A.M.I. Show was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28th and 29th in 1964, but the film was released on December 29th, 1964. Shows you how fast things moved back then. This is probably the high point in rock history, as contrasted to the lows that followed after the Monterey Jazz and Pop Festival of 1967. It's funny to think that the greatest concert in rock history was filmed to make a movie. Cheesy! It's funny to think of the energy expended in popular music to make films of rock acts in the mid 1960s.
In 1964 the Beatles were just breaking (Ed Sullivan Show February 1964) and Elvis was putting out shitty, shitty records (63: FUN IN ACULPULCO, 64: ROUSTABOUT) But unlike the Beatles, the T.A.M.I. show is all-american, and unlike Elvis, it doesn't suck immensely. How little credit does the west coast for being the locus of so many seminal moments in rock history?(WIKIPEDIA)
LIST OF PERFORMERS
JAMES BROWN AND THE FAMOUS FLAMES
MARVIN GAYE (MOTOWN)
JAN AND DEAN
SMOKEY ROBINSON AND THE MIRACLES (MOTOWN)
THE ROLLING STONES
Posted by catdirt at 7:57 AM
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
WROV HISTORY (1965): Herman's Hermits, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Reparata and the Delrons, Myron Lee and the Caddies, Bobby Freeman, the Hondells, Freddie Cannon, Detergents, Ikettes..
DICK CLARK'S CARAVAN OF STARS (WIKI)
HISTORY OF ROCK: CARAVAN OF STARS
KIOA HISTORY (1964): Fabian, the Crystals, the Reflections, the Jelly Beans, the Dixie Cups.
AMAZON: No book.
BURGER RECORDS CARAVAN OF STARS (announced April 13th, 2010)
DICK CLARK'S CARAVAN OF STARS IS AMAZING; OFFICIALLY OBSESSED!!!
Posted by catdirt at 8:08 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Reading a book on the Supremes lent to me by Mario Orduno of Art Fag Recordings. Cool book, though they could have just as easily called it the Motown story. Why did people stop making girl group music? What happened? Commercial r&b is such an artistic disaster you think someone other then white hipsters would take a crack at reviving the genre. I think '65 was the high point for pop music.
Monday, April 26, 2010
In For the Kill - La Roux (Skream Remix)
Technically I shouldn't do this record because it made it to the Billboard 200 chart at 170 last week, but it's been in the top 10 of the Heateseekers chart for months: At 30 weeks, La Roux is second only to Edwin Sharpe. This record shows how far you can go with a smash hit- that hit being In For the Kill released by hipster french label by Kitsune in 2008, then Polydor in 2009, then Interscope in 2010(Label: INTERSCOPE/CHERRYTREE). I've included a popular remix version because the underlying track is ancient (2008) at this point. But people are still buying the record, and have been for months, in the United States, thousand of copies a month. She played Coachella, etc.
La Roux is an entrant in the techno pop diva, and like other techno pop diva she will be exactly as big as her hits. But In For the Kill is a hit, and so is the second single, Bulletproof. I know, in the UK there is another single squeezed in there but that song sucks. Whether La Roux can experience success in the US, as well as success in the future, will depend entirely on the songs producers give her. But if you listen to the record there is a clear difference between the singles and the album tracks, which tend to be more unimaginative synth pop then pop classics. I think reviewing the whole album misses the point. I 100% guarantee you that the people buying this record in the US don't know synth pop from No Doubt and they probably don't listen to the other tracks on the record all that much, but they bought the cd. In conclusion: Killer singles!
Posted by catdirt at 11:50 AM
April 24th, 20110
@ The Casbah, San Diego, CA.
Historians of science have a good model for how ideas spread in human populations. First, new scientific ideas are advanced by individuals. These individuals attain notoriety for these new ideas. Ideas become accepted for reasons far beyond the actual truth value/merit of the idea itself. Also, individuals who first describe a new idea are not always the one who become associated with the diffusion of that idea.
The success of any scientific idea is inevitably linked to the success of individuals who espouse that idea. However, the success of an individual in the arena of scientific progress doesn't mean that person is a "genius." It could mean that they are well connected, or that they are a persuasive debater or that they are particularly charismatic. Scientific ideas are transmitted person to person. So it's entirely possible that a successful scientist could be totally wrong AND be successful at transmitting that information to people who then re-transmit it, etc. Scientific knowledge progresses when a given individual successfully convinces a large enough network that his ideas are correct, and contrasting, preceding ideas are wrong- that's what he called a "paradigm shift" and it's probably something close to what the 'tipping point' is, even though I don't read Malcolm Gladwell.
This approach was applied by Thomas Collins to the area of philosophy in his epic "The Sociology of Philosophy." Taking into account that there is no absolute "right" and "wrong" in the arena of philosophy (unlike science). He was none the less able to chart the path of philosophy by applying the method pioneered by Kuhn in the area of science.
I would posit that the same analysis can be made for any situation where there is a market, intellectual, commercial or otherwise for a specific idea, product, etc. In science, it manifests itself in adopting a new "paradigm." In philosophy, it manifests itself in shifting popularity of various contrasting philosophical schools. And in markets for music, it manifests itself in sales and more unquantifiable measures such as "influence."
An example of what I am talking about in the world of popular music is best expressed by the oft repeated chestnut that, "Everyone who saw the Velvet Underground went on to create their own band." The chestnut is inevitably put forward to justify the merit of another band (not the Velvet Underground) on the basis of something other then sales (because the Velvet Underground didn't sell records.) This statement tries to take advantage of a bastardized version of the reasoning I described above, but it's a false statement, because the Velvet Underground certainly were a band that was on a major label, drew significant media attention, etc. They may not have been a dominant commercial Top 40 pop act circa the mid 1960s, but they weren't laboring in obscurity.
The Velvet Underground fallacy is simply the most recognizable of whole galaxy of critical errors made by people seeking to relevant popular music acts to some sort of intellectual significance. It starts with Lester Bangs, continues with Malcolm McLaren and Greil Marcus, and it never stops. Attempts by critics of art to philosophize are naturally limited by their underlying ignorance of the actual ideas expressed in philosophy, because those ideas are complicated, and most pop music critics are stupid and lazy (Why you writing about pop music instead of getting that phd, bro?)
This was not the first Blank Dogs show in San Diego, but it was the second. Crocodiles have recorded their second lp and assembled a five piece touring band with an eye to preaching the gospel world wide. Blank Dogs is, of course, Mike Sniper, who also runs Captured Tracks, whose first release was also the first Dum Dum Girls record (?- Hozac 45 release date? someone help me here?) Sniper also collaborates with Dee Dee in Mayfair Set. He's also involved in a similar relationship with the guy from Gary War. He also lives in Brooklyn and is the single most identifiable beneficiary of whatever "lo fi" means.
The first band was Cosmetics from Vancouver, CAN. I think Vancouver is a thriving cultural center, and I'm waiting for a band to break out of the garage/indie scene up there, but I'm not sure Cosmetics are going to be it. They have a 7" out on Captured Tracks. Although they appear as a three piece, with a drummer and a female singer, the artistic creator of the group appears to be the bassist/synth player. I can't seem to find his name, but it seems to me that he has a promising future if he keeps writing songs and seeking talented collaborators. Cosmetics have a synth-y, female singer-y vibe. The songs only really took off on those where the bassist/synth player really worked his bass. The second or third last song played before the end of the set was a real stand out, and I would urge them to open with that track. With a 7" on Captured Tracks, they will no doubt draw attention on upcoming dates, and I'm interested to see how other audiences receive their music and live performance.
Blank Dogs played as a three piece- no drums. Mike Sniper performed with a hoodie over his head. I think that is standard. The Casbah was crowded and attentive. Sniper was able to show off his songs in a live setting, and as a Blank Dogs listener, it was cool to hear them played at the Casbah. Blank Dogs has been so prolific that I would wager few in the audience are familiar with his entire output, but hopefully this show will spur people to purchase physical media. Not to mention the fact that Captured Tracks is the standard bearer for the new indies. I look forward to seeing Sniper in whatever acts he chooses to tour with (Mayfair Set?) for many years to come. For the live show, people want to come here identifiable songs- and Blank Dogs has plenty of them, but the output has been so prolific it's hard for listeners to focus.
The atmosphere was electric for Crocodiles. They are now playing as a five piece, with Alianna and Robin joining pre-existing members Marco, Brandon and Chuck. I can honestly say it was as excited a crowd as I've ever seen at a Casbah event. Judging on the reactions of the audience, the Crocodiles blew the doors off the Casbah. A lot of photo taking, video taking, excited clapping, enthusiastic responses, etc. They played some new material- so new that I noticed videographers NOT TAPING hahahahahahaha. You blew it! And if you did happen to catch one of the new tracks- don't put that shit on line unless you talk to the artist FIRST.
CROCODILES TOUR DATES- UK/EUROPE
May 14/15 - Great Escape Festival - Brighton, UK
May 17 - Stag's Head - London, UK
May 18 - Hare and Hounds - Birmingham, UK *
May 19 - The Harley - Sheffield, UK *
May 20 - Arts Centre - Norwich, UK *
May 21 - Sound City - Liverpool, UK #
May 22 - Stag and Dagger - Glasgow, UK %
May 23 - Deaf Institute - Manchester, UK *
May 25 - Heaven - London, UK *
May 27 - Primavera Sound Festival - Barcelona, Spain
May 31 - Pure Groove Records In Store - London, UK
June 1 - White Heat @ Madame Jo Jo's - London, UK
* = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers
# = w/ Titus Andronicus% = w/ a super cool surprise band
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics
2004 Penguin Classics Edition
Bernard Bosanquet, translation
Edited by Michael Inwood
by Georg Wilhelm Frederich Hegel
I'm writing a review of this book because you can't talk about music criticism without being at least aware of it's existence. It might be the most important book in the history of art criticism.
That said, there is a lot of context that has to be laid down before an ignorant person can understand what I'm talking about. That's fine. To understand the significance of Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics you need to accept the following facts as true, and understand their meaning.
1. Art in the West was dominated by the Church until the 18th century.
2. The first important scene in "modern" Western Philosophy was the generation of Germans that began with Immanuel Kant and ends with Hegel. In between them come Fichte, Schiller and Goethe.
3. The Germans "rediscovered" the classic art of Greece during this same time period.
4. Hegel was the thinker who synthesized a generation of thought over the relationship between art and reason.
Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics is not one of the books Hegel wrote to achieve his lasting place in world history. Rather, his lectures were published after his death based on the classes he taught at Berlin University. Hegel is a proto-type of the hugely succesful university philosopher that dominates three centuries of Western thought, and the relationship between Hegel and the German University system is important to understand. To whit, Hegel was a rock star. He was hugely popular, in his time, and that is significant because it means that people read his books, and tried to understand what they meant, and wrote books based on his thought.
You might imagine Hegel to be the philosophical equivalent of the Beatles in his day and age: He was a great writer, and he synthesized a bunch of disparate influences to great, popular, effect.
Hegel, like many philosophers of his era, was pessimistic about the role of art in society. This pessimism was grounded on the observation that Greek art (Homer) played a much greater role back then then artists like Schiller and Goethe played in contemporary German society. Therefore, Hegel needed to explain "why" and "how" this could be the case. His explanation is that his modernity was a "reflective" period and that reflective periods created shitty art because artists were too self aware of their process to create good art, and patrons were too cynical to allow art to influence their lives in a significant way.
As it turns out, he was simply wrong about his own time period: The late 18th-early 19th century was the high point of classical music in German culture. Unfortunately, Hegel viewed music as an inferior art form because it wasn't representative of anything other then itself. Thus his pessimism was grounded on faulty analysis, but that didn't stop his theories about art from being hugely influential.
Like his German idealist contemporaries, Hegel believed that the path out of the dilemmas presented by modernity involved an elevated roll for artistic endeavor, but at the same time he believed the level of reflectiveness doomed this project to failure. This debate continues to dominate art criticism into the present day, even while the debaters have failed to understand the history of the debate.
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- Dick Clark 1959
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- The Supremes - Stop! In the Name of Love (video)
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