Sunday, February 12th, 2012
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
A lot of writing, and a fair amount of interesting writing, has been done at The Hooded Utilitarian over the past few weeks on the topic of racist images in R. Crumb's work. At the beginning of the month Domingos Isabelinho's strongly negative reference to Angelfood McSpade provoked an enormous, vituperative comments thread. (A large portion of the posts coming from one embarrassingly devoted Crumb fan who will not hear any evil spoken of his object of adoration -- but with plenty of worthwhile thinking as well.) Today, Robert Stanley Martin devotes a lengthy post to the issue, with reference to McSpade, the Cheap Thrills album cover, and Al Jolson(!) And in comments, Noah Berlatsky promises a post of his own about the Cheap Thrills cover.*Well, I'm not sure quite what to make of this... I think of Crumb as a great cartoonist and of the racist and misogynistic imagery as a key, integral part of his work. Certainly worth reading and writing about.
* Update: Noah's post is here.
Update II: and Sean Michael Robinson's contribution to the conversation.
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
A few years old, but new for me: in September 2004, R. Crumb and Jerry Zolten produced a one-hour show on Penn State's wpsu-fm, spinning and chattering and nit-picking Crumb's collection of old blues and gospel records. Lots of great music and talk.
I haven't been able to find the mp3 of the show online anywhere but prx.org -- I'm not sure what the nature of that site is, they make you sign up for a free account if you want to listen, it seems benign enough though...
Track listing below the fold.
- Cecil Scott and his Bright Boys, "Lawd Lawd" -- played over the title announcement
- "Texas & Pacific Blues" by Frenchy's String Band. The melody I know from "Richland Woman Blues".
- Macon Ed and Tampa Joe (a fiddler who might be Peg Leg Howell -- happy coincidence that yesterday's shuffle has Howell on it), "Warm Wipe Stomp"
- Eddie Head and his family, "Down on Me"
- Rev. J.C. Burnett & congregation, "I’ll Stand & Wring My Hands & Cry"
- The Need More Band (Bobby Leecan and Robert Cooksey), "Washboard Cut Out"
- "Humming Blues" -- ukulele blues by Red-Onion Joe (Joe Linthecome)
- Lottie Kimbrough, "Rolling Log Blues" (with one or both of the Pruitt Twins on guitar)
- Louie Lasky, "How Do You Want Your Rolling Done?"
- Cheikha Tetma -- did not catch the song title
- Cannon's Jug Stompers, "Walk Right In"
- Geeshie Wiley, "Last Kind Word Blues"
- Mississippi Jook Band, "Skippy Whippy" -- played over closing announcements
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Excellent news today -- R. Crumb has announced the completion of his new book, which is a retelling of Genesis. I can't imagine anything better than R. Crumb's take on Genesis, unless maybe it were R. Crumb's take on Samuel -- since he has not done that yet this will surely suffice.
Speaking of the Old Testament, this Passover Haggadah is just hilarious.
Crumb has been working on this for a long time: he talks about it in this four-year-old Time interview, which has a sample page:A couple of other sketches from the book are available at on-panel.com and at Yale University Press.
Crumb tells the NY Times, "It's lurid. Full of all kinds of crazy, weird things that will really surprise people."
Thursday, August 17th, 2006
Ok, 2 answers for my shared experience question:
- I would like everyone to know the music of Mississippi John Hurt. It's a little silly but I get hassled by the fact that whenever the Blues comes up in conversation, people think about electric music recorded in the 70s and later, or possibly about electric music recorded in the 50s. Plus I want everyone to know this music because it's so good.
- I would like everyone to know American Splendor by Harvey Pekar, and the graphic art of R. Crumb. I think productive conversations would be possible if I could just refer to Crumb's vision of sexual inadequacy and everybody knew what I was talking about without any explication. This also goes for Pekar's work ethic.
I want to tag Roy Edroso and Dave Feldman.
Saturday, August 5th, 2006
At last year's Unfogged meetup, I arrived carrying a copy of Flannery O'Connor's collected short novels -- I had been reading The Violent Bear It Away that morning, and I gave the book to John Emerson, since I had a couple of other copies of the same material. By a weird coincidence, yesterday morning I started reading Carson McCullers' Collected Stories, so I had it in hand when I arrived at the Unfogged meetup. I came away with the book still in hand though -- fortunate since it is looking like a great read.
I'm a bit pissed at The Gingerman (bar where the meetup was held), or at myself (for not divining that Gingerman would not allow children in) or something. My meetup experience only lasted until 6:00, when Ellen and Sylvia showed, at which point the weirdly hovering waitress informed us they had a over-21-only policy. So I only got to chat with Jackmormon and with Teofilo, too bad. We went over to the Pierrepont-Morgan library, where there is currently an excellent show of Rembrandt's drawings. I was very taken with his "Monk in the Cornfield", which could almost have been drawn by R. Crumb. Dropped by The Gingerman briefly on the way home, where I had a nice chat with LB and Becks, and got to meet Adam Ash.
Drop me a line! or, sign my Guestbook.
Check out Ellen's writing at Patch.com.