Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Arcade Project

this book is so interesting.......

discription from...

The Arcades Project
Walter Benjamin
Edited by Roy Tiedemann Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin

"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen years--"the theater," as Benjamin called it, "of all my struggles and all my ideas."

Focusing on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris-glass-roofed rows of shops that were early centers of consumerism--Benjamin presents a montage of quotations from, and reflections on, hundreds of published sources, arranging them in thirty-six categories with descriptive rubrics such as "Fashion," "Boredom," "Dream City," "Photography," "Catacombs," "Advertising," "Prostitution," "Baudelaire," and "Theory of Progress." His central preoccupation is what he calls the commodification of things--a process in which he locates the decisive shift to the modern age.

The Arcades Project is Benjamin's effort to represent and to critique the bourgeois experience of nineteenth-century history, and, in so doing, to liberate the suppressed "true history" that underlay the ideological mask. In the bustling, cluttered arcades, street and interior merge and historical time is broken up into kaleidoscopic distractions and displays of ephemera. Here, at a distance from what is normally meant by "progress," Benjamin finds the lost time(s) embedded in the spaces of things.

coming soon to an art gallery near you....

The Twist House Band........goose girl meets steampunk vaudeville meets art rock

An accordion is a musical instrument of the handheld bellows-driven free reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as squeezeboxes.

The accordion is played by compression and expansion of a bellows, which generates air flow across reeds; a keyboard or buttons control which reeds receive air flow and therefore the tones produced.

Parlor (Parlour) guitar usually refers to smaller-bodied guitars that had peak popularity between the late 19th century until the 1950's. The defining feature in terms of classification is the size of the instrument, defined as smaller than that of a concert guitar. Many blues and folk musicians have used smaller-bodied guitars, which were often more affordable, mass production models.

Wilco - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

Wilco - I'm The Man Who Loves You

Wilco at Lollapalooza 2006 "Heavy Metal Drummer"

Familjen - Det snurrar i min skalle

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sybil Ludington


Sybil Ludington

Everyone has heard of Paul Revere's ride through the night to alert a sleeping countryside of the coming of the British troops. Less well known is an equally heroic ride, undertaken in 1777 by a 16-year-old farm girl.

Sybil Ludington was the eldest of Col. Henry and Abigail Ludington's 12 children. They lived in Fredericksburg, New York (now called Ludingtonville), where her father, a veteran of the French and Indian war, was a gristmill owner and commander of the area militia.

On the night of April 26, 1777, the Ludington family was getting ready for bed when they were startled by ahard knock on the door. It was a messenger from Danbury, Connecticut, who had come to request the aid of the Fredericksburg militia. Two thousand British troops had attacked that Connecticut town; the Continental Army's depot of munitions and food there was destroyed and much of the town was left in flames.

Obviously, Colonel Ludington could not personally both supervise the muster of his troops and ride to alert them. Sybil volunterred to make the ride in his place.

Authorities vary on the length of her ride; some say it was 20, some say 40, miles. In any case, it was raining hard. But as Sybil urged her bay horse, Star, onward, she could see the sky light up from the glow of the flaming town. "The British are burning Danbury--muster at Ludington's," she shouted at the farmhouses of the millitiamen.

When, soaked from the rain and exhausted, she returned home, most of the 400 soldiers were ready to march.

After the Battle of Ridgefield, as the resulting skirmish was later known, Sybil was congratulated for her heroism by friends and neighbors--and by Gen. George Washington.


From No Impact Man's blog

vaudeville 2


Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history–style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality. It is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Some prototypical steampunk stories were essentially cyberpunk tales that were set in the past, using steam-era technology rather than the ubiquitous cybernetics of cyberpunk but maintaining those stories' "punkish" attitudes towards authority figures and human nature. Originally, like cyberpunk, steampunk was often dystopian, sometimes with noir and pulp fiction themes as in cyberpunk. As the genre developed, it came to adopt more of the broadly appealing utopian sensibilities of Victorian scientific romances.

Steampunk fiction focuses more intently on real, theoretical or cinematic Victorian-era technology, including steam engines, clockwork devices, and difference engines. While much of steampunk is set in Victorian-era settings, the genre has expanded into medieval settings and often delves into the realms of horror and fantasy. Various secret societies and conspiracy theories are often featured, and some steampunk includes significant fantasy elements. There are frequently Lovecraftian, occult and Gothic horror influences as well.

[edit] Influences

Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the late 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain and Mary Shelley.


vaudeville (VAWD-vil) noun

Theatrical entertainment featuring a variety of acts such as
songs, dances, comedy, acrobatics, magic, pantomime, etc.

[From French vaudeville, from Old French vaudevire, a shortening
of chanson du Vau de Vire (song of the Valley of Vire), from Vire,
a valley of Calvados, Normandy in France where satirical folksongs
were composed by Olivier Basselin in the fifteenth century.]

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

new podcast from Dan Carlin

Dan Carlin -- News, Politics, and History

Dan Carlin's Common Sense and Hardcore History Podcast Site.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing
that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
Salvador Dali

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hardcore History podcast