zaterdag 16 mei 2015

B.B. King R.I.P.

B.B. King, Blues Legend, Dead at 89

Brilliant bluesman who inspired a generation of guitarists and singers dies after decades-long battle with diabetes

B.B. King
B.B. King, who toured the world year-round as the unrivaled ambassador of the blues, died after a decades-long battle with diabetes. Charlie Gillett/Redferns
B.B. King, the larger-than-life guitarist and singer who helped popularize electric blues and brought it to audiences for more than six decades, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89. King, who was diagnosed with diabetes nearly 30 years ago, was hospitalized last month due to dehydration. Last October, he was forced to cancel eight tour dates for dehydration and exhaustion. His attorney, Brent Bryson, confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
Into his late eighties, King toured the world year-round as the unrivaled ambassador of the blues. His indelible style – a throaty, throttling vocal howl paired with a ringing single-note vibrato sound played on his electric guitar named Lucille – defined the genre. He won 15 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
"He is without a doubt the most important artist the blues has ever produced," Eric Clapton wrote in his 2008 biography, "and the most humble and genuine man you would ever wish to meet. In terms of scale or stature, I believe that if Robert Johnson was reincarnated, he is probably B.B. King."
King didn't do anything small; his excesses included food, women, (he claimed to have fathered 15 children by 15 different partners) and gambling (he moved to Las Vegas in 1975). His sound was also big: Speaking about "When Love Comes to Town," U2's 1988 duet with King, Bono recalled, "I gave it my absolute everything I had in that howl at the start of the song. And then B.B. King opened up his mouth and I felt like a girl. We had learned and absorbed, but the more we tried to be like B.B., the less convincing we were."
He was born Riley B. King in Itta Bena, Mississippi, on September 16th, 1925. His young parents divorced when he was five and his mother died when he was nine, leaving him to be raised by his maternal grandmother. King dropped out of school in tenth grade (though he vigorously studied math and languages until late in his life) and earned a living picking cotton for a penny a pound and singing gospel songs on a local street corner, studying music under cousin Bukka White. He married at 17. "I guess I was looking for love, because I never had anybody I believed truly loved me," he told Rolling Stone in 1998. It was the first of two failed marriages. "Since my early childhood, I have had a problem trying to open up. Please open me up. Look inside! 'Cause I can't. I don't know how to." 
In 1948, King was living in Memphis working as a tractor driver when he landed a gig on Sonny Boy Williamson's local radio show. That led to a job at a popular West Memphis juke joint playing six nights a week, earning $12 a night, In Memphis, he met artists like Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker, where he heard electric guitar for the first time. "T-Bone was, to me, that sound of being in heaven," he said.
King scored his first Number One hit in 1951 with "3 O' Clock Blues." Dozens more followed in the coming decades, including 1954's "You Upset Me Baby," 1960's "Sweet Sixteen." One night in 1949, King was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, when two men started fighting over a woman named Lucille and set the club on fire by knocking over the kerosene stove. The place was evacuated, but King rushed back inside to retrieve his guitar, which he dubbed Lucille. Despite being married twice, King has said that Lucille was his true love, and he called every guitar he owned after that Lucille as well. "'Lucille' is real," King once wrote. "When I play her, it's almost like hearing words, and of course, naturally I hear cries. I'd be playing sometimes as I'd play, it seems like it almost has a conversation with me. It tells you something. It communicates with me." 
In the Sixties, the success of blues-influenced British bands helped broaden King's appeal. He began to perform for white rock audiences with acts like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Around this time, his sound started to change. When Rolling Stone included King among the 100 Greatest Guitarists, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top said, "There was a turning point, around the time of [1965's] Live at the Regal, when his sound took on a personality that is untampered with today – this roundish tone, where the front pickup is out of phase with the rear pickup. And B.B. still plays a Gibson amplifier that is long out of production. His sound comes from that combination. It's just B.B." Some of King's greatest recordings are live albums, including Live in Japan and Live at Cook County Jail, which showcase his masterful delivery and playful, old school showmanship.
In the late Sixties, King moved to New York and started working with manager Sid Seidenberg, who helped curb his gambling habit and got King playing larger venues and festival dates. King started having hits again, including 1968's "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss," 1969's cutting social commentary "Why I Sing the Blues" and "The Thrill Is Gone" (originally recorded in 1951 by Roy Hawkins), a spooky minor-key stomp with string overdubs that earned King a Grammy in 1970 and was named Number 185 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. King's blues didn’t wallow; his best songs mixed humor with deep-rooted soul. "There's always been a myth about the blues singer," King once said. "There's something about the blues singer that was always terrible one way or the other. And that was the myth that I heard from the beginning. [I'm] crazy about women. If there was no ladies, I wouldn't wanna be on the planet. Ladies, friends and music – without those three, I wouldn't wanna be here."
In the Seventies, King also recorded albums with longtime friend and onetime chauffeur Bobby Bland, 1974's Together for the First Time...Live and 1976's Together Again...Live, and Stevie Wonder co-wrote his 1973 song "To Know You Is to Love You." In 1988, he recorded "When Love Comes To Town" for U2's album Rattle and Hum. Bono later recalled an anecdote from the session: "When we were working, we were showing him the chords and he said,' gentlemen. I don't do chords. I do this [referencing King's soloing style]. There's a lesson in that. He is, as Keith Richards describes, a specialist."
Said King, "Blues purists never cared for me. I don't worry about it. I think if it this way: When I made 'Three O' Clock Blues', they were not there. The people out there made the tune. And blues purists just wrote about it. The people is who I'm trying to satisfy."
King' style – marked by his signature ringing, vibrato notes – became a hallmark of blues playing, imitated by everyone from Clapton to Buddy Guy. "I always liked the steel guitar. I also love the guys that play the bottleneck," King said. "But I could never do it; I never made it do what I want. So every time I would pick up the guitar, I 'd shake my hand and trill it a bit. For some strange reason my ears would say to me that sounds similar to what those guys were doing. I can't pick up the guitar now without doing it. So that's how I got into making my sound. It was nothing pretty. Just trying to please myself. I heard that sound."

"Very seldom does he talks about the way he play, man," Buddy Guy told Rolling Stone last year. "He always wanna talk about young women. And I fuss at him sometimes, I say, 'Man I wanna know what did you do here!'"
In 1991, B.B. King's Blues Club opened in Memphis. Soon, he'd have clubs throughout the country. He continued to enjoy commercial success late into his career. In 2000, Riding With the King, an album recorded with Eric Clapton, topped the Blues Albums chart and went double-platinum. A 1998 Rolling Stone feature by Gerri Hirshey estimated that King had played more than 15,000 concerts. He spent more than 65 years on the road, playing more than 300 shows a year until cutting back to around a 100 during the last decade. "We worked our asses off from '63 to '66, right through those three years, non-stop," Keith Richards once said. "I believe we had two weeks off. That's nothing, I mean I tell that to B.B. King and he'll say, 'I been doing it for years.'" 

King was also an entertainer off stage, regularly holding meet and greets, where he chatted with fans and "guitar kids," as he called them, long after the house lights turned on. "At the Crossroads concerts, the first one I did, I was a nervous wreck," Gary Clark Jr. told Rolling Stone last year. "It was a big day for me. I walked across the stage and B.B. kind of grabbed my hand, looked up at me, and just kind of nodded. That was one of those moments where I was like, 'B.B. King is smiling at me. Everything is going to be all right. Yeah, I can go on with my life."
King was also an avid reader and Internet enthusiast who once schooled a young reporter on how to transfer vinyl to MP3. "Gosh, I don't know how I lived without it!" he once said of the computer.  
"I'm slower," he told Rolling Stone in 2013. "As you get older, your fingers sometimes swell. But I've missed 18 days in 65 years. Sometimes guys will just take off; I've never done that. If I'm booked to play, I go and play."
He added, "The crowds treat me like my last name. When I go onstage people usually stand up, I never ask them to, but they do. They stand up and they don't know how much I appreciate it."

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Egypt's Military Regime

Een staatsgreep waarbij de democratisch gekozen partij zijn macht verliest en nu is de voormalige president ter dood veroordeeld vanwege ondermeer een vluchtpoging. De poppenkast wordt stilzwijgend gesteund door de VS en de EU van 'Geen Jorwert zonder Brussel,' die de mond vol hebben over democratie en mensenrechten:

Mohamed Morsi sentenced to death by Egyptian court

Judgment handed out against Islamist former president over charges of espionage and jailbreak nearly two years after overthrow
Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi sits in a cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo.
An Egyptian court has sentenced the ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death for his part in a mass jailbreak in 2011.
The verdict, by judge Shaaban el-Shami, was announced on Saturday in a Cairo court where Morsi was also facing charges of espionage. As is customary in passing capital punishment, the death sentence on Morsi and more than 100 others will be referred to the country’s top Muslim theologian, or mufti, for his non-binding opinion.
Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, was ousted by the military in July 2013 after days of mass street protests by Egyptians demanding that he be removed because of his divisive policies.
His overthrow triggered a government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement, to which he belongs, in which hundreds of people have died and thousands have been imprisoned.
In May 2014, Morsi’s successor, the former military chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, secured a landslide victory in Egypt’s presidential elections.
Before Saturday’s sentencing, Morsi was already serving a 20-year term on charges linked to the killing of protesters outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.
Defendants in both trials were brought into the caged dock on Saturday ahead of the verdict. “We are free revolutionaries, we will continue the march,” they chanted.
Morsi was not brought in, but his co-defendant and Brotherhood leader, Mahmud Badie, was present, wearing the red uniform of those convicted to death after a previous sentence.
In Saturday’s first case, Morsi and 130 others, including dozens of members of the Palestinian Hamas movement and Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah group, were accused of escaping from prisons and attacking police during the 2011 uprising against the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdoğan, criticised the decision to seek the death penalty for Morsi and accused the west of hypocrisy, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported. 
“The popularly elected president of Egypt, chosen with 52% of the vote, has unfortunately been sentenced to death,” Erdoğan said at a rally in Istanbul, to howls of protest from the crowd.
“Egypt is turning back into ancient Egypt,” he said, referring to the Pharaonic rule of the land that ended more than two millennia ago.
“The west, unfortunately, is still turning a blind eye to Sisi’s coup,” he added. “While they abolished the death penalty in their own countries, they just look on as spectators at this execution in Egypt.” 
The Muslim Brotherhood has been blamed for most of the unrest in Egypt, which has resulted in the death of some 850 people. Egyptian authorities designated it a terrorist group in December 2013, making even verbal expressions of support punishable by imprisonment.
In Saturday’s second case, Morsi and 35 co-defendants, including Brotherhood leaders, were accused of conspiring with foreign powers, Hamas and Shia Iran to destabilise Egypt.
Prosecutors said the defendants carried out espionage activity on behalf of the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation and Hamas from 2005 to August 2013 “with the aim of perpetrating terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state”.
Morsi’s supporters have said that the charges against him are politically motivated. Rights groups have accused Sisi’s regime of using the judiciary as a tool to oppress opposition, with Amnesty International denouncing the death sentence as “a charade based on null and void procedures”.


Over het tonen van verzamelingen

roan-ji garden couple 2

In het verlengde van verzamelen ligt het laten zien. Zelfs voor de verzamelaar die uitstallen als pronken afdoet, leidt het aanbrengen van orde in de verzameling tot schikken, situeren, stapelen, structureren, kortom de zaken zichtbaar maken. Al naar gelang het assortiment, uiteraard: het uitstallen van munten noopt tot andere overwegingen dan van keramiek of oude auto’s.
En toch ook weer niet.

dry garden pattern making 2

Er bestaat niet één monolithisch iets genaamd 'kunst', maar veeleer verschillende soorten kunst die zich voornamelijk onderscheiden door de reden waarom die kunst bestaat en ook door wat er vervolgens mee gebeurt als die eenmaal is gecreëerd. – Mas Nakajima

Aan kennis over z’n collectie zal het de verzamelaar niet ontbreken, maar bij het tonen ervan komen nog andere kwaliteiten te pas: oog voor maatverhoudingen en kleurschakeringen bijvoorbeeld. Geen wonder dat menig ontwerper en kunstenaar van oudsher bijklust met het maken van etalages.

Een curator die een expositie inricht, onderscheidt zich - hopelijk - door kennis van het getoonde maar verschilt verder nauwelijks van een etaleur. Ook al probeert hij, de deskundige, deze associatie soms met dure woorden te overschreeuwen, in menig museum hangt bijvoorbeeld de omschrijving van het getoonde nog steeds als een prijskaartje ernaast.

Zelfs als het kunstwerk voorheen werd tentoongesteld dankzij het ​​museum, dient het nu als niets meer dan een decoratieve gimmick voor het voortbestaan ​​van het museum als tableau, een tableau waarvan de auteur niemand anders is dan de organisator van de tentoonstelling. – Daniel Buren

Duchamps etant-donnes-540x685
Reeds sinds Marcel Duchamps(1887- 1968) is er discussie of de conservator – die het kunstwerk voor een museum of galerie selecteert – niet even bepalend is als de kunstenaar die het maakte. Om dit debat aan te scherpen, voegde Duchamps een vaste opstelling aan een van zijn kunstwerken toe: alleen door twee ooggaatjes in een deur kon je ernaar kijken. Hij bepaalde hoemen zijn kunst moest bekijken.

Door de verscheidenheid aan verzamelingen – alleen al qua materie en maat al – bestaan er relatief weinig algemenehandleidingen over het tonen ervan. Woonbladen, bijvoorbeeld, demonstreren weliswaar, maar leggen het hoe en waarom van inrichten niet uit – men zou ’ns geen behoefte meer hebben aan een volgend nummer.

Natuurlijk bestaan er regels en richtlijnen die het kijken vergemakkelijken, veraangenamen en bevorderen. Of deze oeroude conditionering evo-psycho-sociologisch bepaald is en ergens in onze cortex hun weerklank vinden, uh… vast wel.
suiseki small stone

Daardoor maakt het weinig uit wat er precies tentoongesteld wordt. Om de basisregels te begrijpen, kan nagenoeg elke verzameling voorwerpen als voorbeeld dienen.

The Japanese Art of Stone Appreciation door C. Covello en Y. Yoshimura is een zeer verhelderend boekje. Als je het uit hebt, twijfel je of je het niet altijd al wist…
Suiseki and its use with Bonsai, zoals de subtitel luidt, betreft het vinden en tonen van bijzondere stenen uit de natuur. Zodra er meer aan te pas komt – zand, water of bonsai bijvoorbeeld – dan spreekt men, ook internationaal, van bonkei. De laatste eeuwen is deze ‘toonkunst’ dermate verfijnd, dat vrijwel alle aspecten van presentatie erin voorkomen.

Suiseki wind

Door er nooit echt over te hebben gedacht, was asymmetrischwat mij betreft synoniem met chaotisch. Doorsnee digitale woordenboeken zijn daar hooguit iets minder stellig over: disproportioneel, onevenwichtig.
Leg eens ‘n willekeurig voorwerp, bijvoorbeeld een steen of een kopje, asymmetrisch op een ovale of langwerpige ondergrond.
De eenvoudige schetsjes van Covello en Yoshimura laten zien dat de vanzelfsprekendste plek op twee-derde is.
Als u net als ik de gulden snede nooit echt begreep, komen we hier een beetje dichterbij, geloof ik.

Placing a stone
(De rand lijkt me in verhouding tot de ‘berg’ overigens aan de dikke kant).

Veel aquascapers volgen de regel van de drie delen, waarbij de lay-out in drie gelijke segmenten van boven naar beneden is verdeeld, en drie van links naar rechts . Het visuele brandpunt komt daar waar de verschillende verticale en horizontale lijnen elkaar kruisen. – Aquascape

Lees verder: 

New York Times and Zionist Fascism

New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren whitewashes Israeli minister’s call for genocide

A week ago, I speculated that we might soon be reading a puff piece from New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren on Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli education minister who is proud of his record of killing Arabs.

on Twitter

My thought was inspired by Rudoren’s December 2013 makeover for Israel’s then foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in which she claimed that the settler from Moldova had lost his “abrasive” style and turned over a new leaf as a “conciliatory diplomat.”
But Rudoren surprised me. Instead of going for Bennett, she has produced a puff pieceon Israel’s new justice minister Ayelet Shaked, Bennett’s colleague in the Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) party.
Last July, The Electronic Intifada made Shaked world famous by translating her Facebook post calling for genocide of Palestinians.
But Rudoren’s piece takes its time to even get to that issue. First we learn that Shaked “danced ballet, was active in the Scouts and excelled at math.” We learn from admirers that she “is a person not of words, but of hard work.”



Ayelet Shaked (Wikipedia)
Finally, in paragraph 21, Rudoren gets to the small matter of Ayelet’s call for mass murder:
A flash point came last June, when Ms. Shaked posted on Facebook a never-published article by a settler activist who had died. It described the entire Palestinian people as “the enemy,” called youths who become “martyrs” while attacking Israelis “snakes” and said their mothers should “go to hell” with them.
Bloggers accused her of promoting genocide. She deleted the post and wrote an op-ed article attacking the attackers.
“It was a mistake,” Ms. Shaked said in the interview, a day before her swearing-in. “I’m doing a lot of mistakes, like every human being.”
Although Rudoren does link to The Electronic Intifada’s post, she presents the facts about Shaked’s statements dismissively as a matter of mere accusations from “bloggers” and gives Shaked’s response equal weight.
Apart from a few quoted words, Rudoren did not actually assess what Shaked wrote – or her response, in which the minister suggests falsely that her words were mistranslated by The Electronic Intifada, “a website dedicated to daily and hourly vilification of my country.”

Judge for yourself

Shaked’s June post, in which she reproduced and endorsed the words of late Israeli settler activist Uri Elitzur, is horrific. Almost any sentence stands out for its bloodlust. Here’s just a few of them:
The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started.
Then …
And in our war this is sevenfold more correct, because the enemy soldiers hide out among the population, and it is only through its support that they can fight. Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.
This is nothing short of a rationale for exterminating Palestinian civilians by defining them, from cradle to grave, as “enemy combatants.”
Can we imagine Rudoren allowing someone who incited the murder of Israeli Jewish civilians in similar terms to shrug it off as just a human foible, a “mistake”?
This is just another of the ways The New York Times helps whitewash Israel’s state-sponsored violence and racism.

Apologizing to cancer

In the news today: Likud lawmaker Miri Regev has been appointed as Israel’s new culture minister.
In 2012, David Sheen ranked Regev No. 5 on his list of Israel’s “racist ringleaders.”Most notoriously that year, Regev told an Israeli mob that African asylum-seekers were “a cancer in the body” of the nation.
Following outrage at the mob violence – a “pogrom,” Sheen calls it – that Regev helped incite, Regev apologized. But not to Africans for calling them “cancer.” Rather, she apologized to cancer sufferers for comparing them to Africans.
Perhaps another glowing puff piece from Rudoren is already in the works?