Monthly Archives: December 2008

RIP Freddie Hubbard (1938 – 2008)

Moanin’ with Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard (1938 – 2008) was an American jazz trumpeter.

He was primarily known as a sideman to Art Blakey in the latter’s Jazz Messengers and many other jazzmen’s bands but achieved his greatest personal success in the 1970s with a series of albums for smooth jazz record label CTI Records. Although his early 1970s jazz albums Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive were particularly well received and considered among his best work, the albums he recorded later in the decade were bashed by critics for their commercialism.

Freddie Hubbard Polar AC for CTI by you.

Polar AC

A particularly accomplished track is Gibraltar, compiled by Ashley Beedle on the Grass Roots album.

RIP Ann Savage (1921 – 2008)

RIP American actress Ann Savage at age 87, best-known for her iconic bad girl role in Detour.


Ann Savage discusses Detour

Ann Savage (19212008) is mainly remembered as the cigarette-puffing femme fatale in Detour (1945) and other Hollywood B-movies and film noirs of the 1940s.

When it became public domain, Detour was often run on syndicated television and several versions were released on VHS home video. Although made on a small budget and containing only rudimentary sets and camera work, the film has garnered substantial praise through the years and is held in high regard. Director Wim Wenders called her work in Detour “at least 15 years ahead of its time”. The film’s ending is notable as an exemplum of involuntary manslaughter.

Ann most recently earned rave reviews in all media for her stunning performance as Canadian director Guy Maddin‘s mother in his most acclaimed film My Winnipeg (2008).

Introducing Japanese photographer Manabu Yamanaka

flesh_manabu_yamanaka_72b by bobinke


Manabu Yamanaka is a Japanese contemporary artist. He lives and works in Tokyo, was born in Hyogo, Japan, in 1959. His photographs have been exhibited throughout Europe and North America.

His exhibition, “Gyahtei,”[1] a Buddhist term meaning “great age,” consisting of a series of black and white photographs of old people brought him to international attention.

He also did the cover art to Coin Locker Babies[2].

Lucy, a hypothetical primate

The butler[0] told me that yesterday at Düsseldorf he also saw Transplant[1] by Otto Dix. The print reminded me of Italian comic artist Liberatore‘s Frankensteinesque[2] vision RanXerox[3], [4], [5], one of the most neglected comic book series of the 21st century.

Lucy by Liberatore, cover by you.

Lucy, l’espoir (2007) illustrated by Liberatore and written by Patrick Norbert.

To my surprise — I know that Liberatore has not made an album since 1996, not counting Femmes[6] which has no story — I stumbled on Lucy, l’espoir a 2007 graphic novel illustrated by Liberatore, many times called the Michelangelo of comic art, but probably more kin to Goltzius (compare the depiction of exaggerated muscle mass in[7], [8] and [9])

On the cover[10] of Lucy, l’espoir’ (En: Lucy, the hope) is an ape mother holding a baby and looking skywards to the moon on a clear night. On a second plate[11], one ape fights another and they both seem to fall off a cliff. The ape on the cover is Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis specimen discovered 1974, at one time considered the missing link.

RIP Eartha Kitt (1927 – 2008)

RIP Eartha Kitt

That Bad Eartha by Eartha Kitt and Henri René and his Orchestra

Eartha Mae Kitt (19272008) was an American actress, singer, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her 1953 Christmas song “Santa Baby“. Orson Welles once called her the “most exciting woman in the world”. She is internationally known for such songs as “I Want to Be Evil” (1957) and Where Is My Man (1983) (UK #36), the first a prime example of American cabaret, the second a gay anthem. She is an archetypical cat woman.


I Want to Be Evil

As for “I Want to Be Evil,” I just discovered the song today. The version on Youtube depicted was recorded for a Swedish television show called Kaskade or Kaskad, Swedish for waterfall.

The song was written by Lester Judson and Raymond Taylor, first recorded in 1953, taken from the album That Bad Eartha with  space-age pop musician Henri René and his Orchestra.

What the Butler Saw in Düsseldorf

The butler visited Diana und Actaeon – Der verbotene Blick auf die Nacktheit with a fellow butler and a maid.

He was thrilled to see Étant donnés[1] by Marcel Duchamp. And he did not realize it also looked like this[2]. He saw the famous metal doll sculpture[3] by Hans Bellmer and Bad Boy by Eric Fischl. He saw the most beautiful penis in post-war photography, yes he meant the Robert Mapplethorpe one[4].

He saw and liked photographs[5] of the Linley Sambourne collection, paintings by French figuratist Jean Rustin[6], paintings by Michael Kirkham[7], his first viewing of the fauvist Erich Heckel[8], Phryne[9] by French academic cult painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, waxworks by Belgian sculptor Berlinde De Bruyckere[10], and paintings by Roland Delcol[11].

The butler was also very much taken by Johannes Hüppi[12]; his first viewing of his fave John Currin[13]; his first real Félix Vallotton; and a Lisa Yuskavage[14]. But not that one.

Butler wants you to know that the works he pointed to are for reference only and may not correspond to the works at the exhibition. He also wants you to know that some of the links may be NSFW.

RIP Harold Pinter (1930 – 2008)

Harold Pinter is dead @78

Harold Pinter (1930 – 2008) is the man I know from his auctorial descriptive Pinteresque, his connection to the Theatre of the Absurd and his screenplay work on other writers’ novels, such as The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1970), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1980), and especially The Comfort of Strangers[1][2] (1990), one of the more devastating film experiences of the eighties.


The Comfort of Strangers

Outside of theatre, Pinter’s most popular lemma is the title of his play The Birthday Party, which survives to this day as Nick Cave‘s band The Birthday Party.


“Nick The Stripper” (1981) by The Birthday Party

Theatre of the Absurd

Harold Pinter is a defining playwright of the 1962-coined Theatre of the Absurd theatrical movement along with French Eugène Ionesco, British Samuel Beckett, French Jean Genet, and Russian Arthur Adamov. The movement’s avant-la-lettre predecessors include Alfred Jarry, Luigi Pirandello, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, Guillaume Apollinaire, and the Surrealists. Other playwrights associated are Tom Stoppard, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Fernando Arrabal and Edward Albee.


I don’t know what to think of Pinteresque. I feel as if Pinter and Buñuel share a set of the same sensibilities but I wonder. If one does a Celebrity Deathmatch between Pinteresque[3] and Buñuelian[4], Pinter wins with 19000+ vs 6000+ for Bunuel. Which is a pity, because I find Buñuelian absurdism a fuller experience than the Pinteresque, Buñuel manages to add spiritualism, humor and sensuality to his work whereas Pinter seems to bog down in kitchen-sink-naturalism. But Pinteresque is clearly the winner here, with Wikipedia defining Pinteresque in their separate article characteristics of Harold Pinter’s work and clearly no Buñuelian counterpart.

The Pinter pause

Another interesting aspect of Pinter’s work is his use of pauses, typographically represented by ellipses. Pinter uses it to such an extent that it has gained fame as the “Pinter pause“, a theatrical technique used for example to great effect in the water dripping faucet seduction scene in The Servant (1963).

The following exchange between Aston and Davies in The Caretaker is typical of the Pinter pause:

ASTON. More or less exactly what you…
DAVIES. That’s it … that’s what I’m getting at is … I mean, what sort of jobs … (Pause.)
ASTON. Well, there’s things like the stairs … and the … the bells …
DAVIES. But it’d be a matter … wouldn’t it … it’d be a matter of a broom … isn’t it?

Still, I prefer my ellipses by Céline (although he shares Pinter’s pessimism), who famously used them in Death on the Installment Plan in 1936, and which then became his trademark style, giving innovative, chaotic, and antiheroic visions of human suffering. In Death on the Installment Plan, he extensively uses ellipses scattered all throughout the text to enhance the rhythm and to emphasise the style of speech.

An example of Céline’s ellipses:

“So I start moseying down the Boulevard Sebastopol, then the rue de Rivoli . . . I’ve kind of lost track. It’s so stifling you can hardly move . . . I drag myself through the arcades . . . along the shop fronts . . . “How about the Bois de Boulogne!” I says to myself . . . I kept on walking quite a while . . . But it was getting to be unbearable . . . unbearable . . . When I see the gates of the Tuileries, I turn off … across the street and into the gardens . . . There was a hell of a crowd already.” —Death on the Installment Plan

RIP Adrian Mitchell (1932 – 2008)

RIP Adrian Mitchell


To Whom It May Concern

Adrian Mitchell (24 October 193220 December 2008) was an English poet, novelist and playwright, best-known for his poem To Whom It May Concern[1].

Connecting lemmas for Mitchell include London Oz, Tom Phillips (artist), International Poetry Incarnation, SOMA Research Association, Wholly Communion, To Whom It May Concern (poem), Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain and Penguin Modern Poets.

The poem To Whom It May Concern is known by its iconic phrase: “Tell me lies about Vietnam.” A piece of cult poetry if there ever was one.