my 5

5 Video Gadgets for the iPhone Videographer

In addition to our daily internet finds, we actually had 4 full seasons of a weekly video show. In that process I did a great deal of work to find the things that would let me film on the go. While I had the distinct honor of working with the very talented Stephen McFadden, there were times when I needed to film myself in the snowy Manhattan evening, far away from Stephen's amazing camera.

So here are 5 video gadgets I discovered along the way.

Ideas, Art, Aesthetics - 5 Books I Love to Share

Sharing books you love with people you like/love/admire/appreciate is one of the most delicious things. You walk around with a shared interior room. You establish an invisible tribe of the heart and head. So, I like/love/admire/appreciate you. Here are the books about ideas, art, aesthetics I want to share with you.

If you want to share with me yours I would be so grateful.


Languages of Art 

by Nelson Goodman

I got this book referred to me by a professor of ancient Chinese calligraphy ( a bit about that experience). It is cerebral and lovely and trusts the reader immensely with discussions of the invisible, the dynamic, the hidden flows that make art move the way it does.

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Kant and the Platypus

by Umberto Eco

With a playful approach Eco gets me to a thoughtful reckoning of the heavy cognitive burden that language bears. 

I have actually bought copies of this book and sent them to friends because I wanted to talk with them about it.

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Twentieth Century Pleasures

by Robert Hass

With a wide range of subjects (from the image/thought of haiku, to contemplations of Tranströmer and Checkov) poet Robert Hass writes clearly and generously about the poetry he has found resources in.

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The Language Instinct

by Steven Pinker

Very much interested in the way we learn and develop language and the way that language overruns the rules we think define it, Pinker puts forth the notion that language isn't a cultural artefact, isn't an invention that set our societies off from their pre-linguistic past through its instrumentality, but instead that language is an inbuilt biological activity that has shaped our evolution as it evolved beside us.

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In Praise of Shadows

by  Junichiro Tanizaki

The way we approach beauty, the things we allow it to say about us, the way it contributes to the moment-to-moment experience of living, this is what Japanese novelist Tanizaki discusses in this brief little discussion on everything from tableware to architecture to space and light.

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My Pick - 5 Novels of Noteworthy Novelty

I have a short list of novels that I hold close to my heart, for their sheer imaginative bravery, for their expansive curiosity and confident communion with the reader. 

I would love to hear your list of novels you love. 

Sure it is a National Book Award winner, but Johnson's fierce, unrelenting imagination dashes any danger of it being broad or boring. 

 

Tree of Smoke
Tree of Smoke: A Novel
By Denis Johnson

Transporting the creator of the Atomic Bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, inexplicably into our day, Millet begins a narrative, that like a rip tide, nearly invisible pulls you into deep water without your even being aware of it. 

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

Taking a simple premise, that with instructions embedded in an alien communication, the Jesuit build and set out to meet them on their own planet. Sci-fi and fantasy with a tinge of high lit.

The Sparrow

The first of Mishima's final novel cycle (read about his ending here), it follows a pair of characters through generations as the symbolism of Buddhism becomes quite literal.

 

Spring Snow
Runaway Horses
The Temple of Dawn
The Decay of Angels

 

Ben Marcus' work is daringly conceptual that trust the intelligence of its reader with a type of storytelling unique amongst his peers.

 

Notable American Women

5 New Albums I Am Thankful My Friends Told Me to Get

1. Sun - Cat Power

New stuff from Cat Power?! The first original from the singer in 6 years and well worth the wait. If you don't know CP, this is a good entree.  

Sun
By Cat Power

2.  Four - Bloc Party

As much as I have liked Bloc Party, I wouldn't have thought to look out for new material from them, but am glad my friend Jamiel thought to tell me about it. 

Four [Deluxe Edition]
By Bloc Party

3. 'Money Tough by Run Dun Crew 

Born out of the unique creative environment that is the Bluefields Sound System studio 'Money Tough is the union of Bluefields’ raw local youth talents Kali Boom and Papa Bantam with international House Music DJ “Evan Rhodes”. The album Money Tough exemplifies the struggle that musicians face living on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua as well as gives you the flavor and style of its Caribbean roots.

4. Visions by The Grimes

I have this friend, Tobey. If I look through my music collection and look for the artists and albums that really standout, chances are Tobey introduced me to them. The same is true for The Grimes. With her crystalline voice and the tracks churning electronic beats and beeps, these tracks are catchy and stirring. 

Visions
By Grimes

5. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean

We live around the corner from the Wiltern Theater and often see lines of fans lined up for new artists. The line for Frank Ocean wrapped around two blocks with some of the most interesting and stylish fans I've seen there. There is something to this guy. Not sure how to explain it. But I like it.