Saturday, July 1, 2017

Just Runaways

The collection of stories that make up what we call our identities is often divided into numerous, somewhat cohesive, larger histories.  Within these mythic sections there are smaller chapters, whose various segments are interlocked with spun tales, adventurous episodes, dramatic scenes, romantic chronicles and mundane reports.
Held together by memory, that carnival house mirror, we adjust the pages and polish the cover, adding new pages with every passing day.  Very few events, only those on the scale of births or deaths, truly shake up that basic narrative we carry of who we are.

In March of 2017, two tightly intertwined stories from many decades past, ones that I had assumed I would never know the resolution of, were suddenly pulled like rabbits from a hat.  The revelations brought with them perspective-shifting joy, as well as shades of profound horror.

I felt the need to hold together these experiences, to bind them into my collection of life stories, and so have put together this small book.

Assembled from shuffled non-linear fragments, culled from the letters I wrote to my mother during 1970 and 1971, it is a simple glimpse into the innocence, fear, joy and quotidian diversions of two young people.


The story begins on 8 February 1970 when I left New York City with my girlfriend Gail – me fleeing the Selective Service draft, her an abusive father  -  and ends, and begins again, in March 2017.


“Just Runaways”
Fragments from the correspondence 
to my mother  -  Chicago to New York, 1970/71

©
AleXander Hirka
  2 July 2017, New York City

16 pages First Edition 200 copies
50 copies signed/numbered by the author


$15. includes shipping (cash/check/Paypal)

send email with information HERE to order
or send payment with your address to PayPal at bothendsburningman@gmail.com

drawing from one of the letters


Published and distributed by Anomaly Works NYC
editorial shaman ~ Tammy Remington


Friday, June 30, 2017

Achilles' Heel

"An Achilles' Heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall.  While the mythological origin refers to physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common."

March Came In Like A Lion . . . April Came In Like A Tripwire . . .

On 7 April 2017 I was getting off the M72 bus on Amsterdam Avenue. My toes touched the curb, the rest of my foot went down to street level. Torn Achilles' tendon.   First there was the cane ("Citizen"), then there was the stabilization boot ("Nancy") and then, when I developed plantar heel pain, there were the crutches ("Dali Sticks").  
A difficult journey through the physical and psychological terrain of immobility; with lessons in patience and gratitude.  The pain and crutches are gone, the cane comes along on occasion for confidence, and the boot comes off in two weeks.  Then the already-months-long physical therapy process gets focused on rebuilding muscles and learning to walk right again. Meanwhile there is this current thing with a blood clot and extreme lower-back pain as I attempt to see doctors of every medical discipline in NYC. There's a visit to the dentist and eye doctor coming up. I wasn't told this was all coming when they gave me the 1/2 price subway/bus MetroCard when I turned 65 in December.  But there is that healing carrot dangling on a stick ahead - in eight weeks we leave for Burning Man.




Click on images to enlarge.


My daughter Martha came to visit for a weekend and I hobbled around the city with her.












Monday, June 26, 2017

Topsy Turvy

The Anomalous Duo's Two Stories Up! theme for February was
Topsy Turvy.
To read the stories, click HERE.
 To learn about Two Stories Up!, click HERE.

TO WATCH THE MIND-BENDING TWO MINUTE VIDEO
CLICK HERE!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Winter Heart


click on image to enlarge


"Winter Heart" - digital photo-montage - 1 January 2017

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Heading Down The Road

click on image to enlarge


Paparazzi Dogs - created by Gillie and Marc at the Ruth Wittenberg Triangle - intersection of Greenwich Avenue, 6th Avenue, and 8th Street.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

65 SONGS

••• 65 Songs •••

Shared with friends 22 December 2016 ~ my 65th birthday.

Previous volumes – 50 Songs (2001) and 55 Songs (2006) and 60 Songs (2011)


LINER NOTES
      “Quick. Can you name fifty favorite songs?  If you grew up saving every bit of your allowance money for the next Beatles 45rpm, or were the kid who strapped a transistor radio to your bike handles, it wouldn’t be all that tough.  On his 50th birthday AleXander Hirka did just that – creating a CD “mix-tape” compilation of fifty musical gems that delighted him at the moment.
       But what about coming up with another fifty-five favorite songs in five years’ time? Trickier.  But anyone with a deep and abiding love of music, combined with a compulsion to explore and try out new sounds, would manage quite nicely.  Then, wait, in five more years, it’s time to share a collection of sixty songs. And now,  just like that, five more years have passed and it’s time to come up with sixty-five songs.
      There are rules in place for this kind of thing, you know.  No repeats from the past, and not more than one per artist or band, no matter how much you love several of their songs. As with previous collections, to jump beyond nostalgia, the menu requires mixing old favorites with more recent discoveries.  Then it’s time to properly arrange  the disparate pieces of the undefined puzzle. It’s not as if you’re just going to slap the songs together any which way; alphabetizing just won’t do.  There’s a rhythm and flow that can only happen with precise and careful placement; complex transitions when the range of styles is wildly eclectic. Which song segues in the perfect quirky dovetail to the next?     And then – the deadline looms. Art to create, choosing colors and typefaces, formatting, composition, and printing. Then production, burning discs, sorting and labeling and collating and inserting and stacking and bagging.
      
     And here it is. Sixty Five Songs. Carefully selected, judiciously arranged over 4 CDs, and ready to provide four hours and fifty-nine minutes of fascinating, curious, far-reaching, close-cutting, and just plain gorgeous musical joy.  And, yes, there is already a stirring towards Seventy Songs, but let’s just savor this collection for now, shall we?”
                                                                              – T. Remington 
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DISC ONE
1   Love And War – Neil Young
2   Nevermind – Leonard Cohen
3   Strange Boat – The Waterboys
4   Watch Me – ANOHNI
5   Beautiful Twisted – Sharron Kraus
6   The Chaconne – Dessa
7   Sway – Dean Martin
8   I Should Have Known Better – The Beatles
9   Fire In the Belly – Van Morrison
10   Papa Joachin Paris – Cesaria Evora
11  Tripwire – Elvis Costello
12   Just As You Are – Robert Wyatt
13   Deeper Well – Emmylou Harris
14   The Bottomless Hole – The Handsome Family
15   Biggest Bordertown In The World – Bob Neuwirth
16   Heroes and Villains – Beach Boys
17   Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight – Mississippi John Hurt
18   Blind Willie McTell – Bob Dylan

DISC TWO
19  Thousand Violins – The Tiger Lillies
20  You Don’t Own Me – Klaus Nomi
21  Under The Influence Of Love- Love Unlimited
22   Go! – Public Service Broadcasting
23   Forever Young – Sparks
24   Rain Fall Down – The Rolling Stones
25   Tear-Stained Letter – Richard Thompson
26   Sénégal Fast Food – Amadou & Mariam feat. Manu Chao
27   Barcelona – Giulia Y Los Tellarini
28   O Caritas – Cat Stevens
29   If I Were Blue – Patricia Barber
30   Chain Lightning – Don McLean
31   Things Will Be Different – Greg & Rebecca Sparks
32   Cello Song- Nick Drake
33   All The Leaves Are Gone- Josephine Foster
34   I’m Not A Woman I’m Not A Man – Gare du Nord
35   Distant Fingers – Patti Smith Group

DISC THREE
36   To Hide A Little Thought – Jonathan Richman
37   Vincent O’Brien – M. Ward
38   Fado Menor – Amalia Rodrigues
39   Gypsy Road – Loyko
40   Roumania Roumania – Aaron Lebedeff
41   Abba Zabba – Captain Beefheart
42   Breath – Pere Ubu
43   First Of The Gang To Die – Morrissey
44   Warrior’s Words – AltaiKai
45   Jewel – T. Rex / Marc Bolan
46   Between The Ditches – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
47   Beyond The Pale – Procol Harum
48   Showroom Dummies – Kraftwerk
49   La Ley – La Dame Blanche
50   Sparrow Dead – Mighty Sparrow
51   Spente Le Stelle – Emma Shapplin
52   Loss: The Car Thief – Residents
53   Spectral Beings – Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
54   Count To Ten – Tina Dico

DISC FOUR
55   Time After Time – Frank Sinatra
56   Lion-Lamb – Low
57   The Dolphins – Fred Neil
58   No Sleep Blues – Incredible String Band
59   Steadfast and True – Shannon Wright
60   Take One Last Look – Tom Waits
61   That Leaving Feeling – Stuart A. Staples/ Lhasa de Sala
62   Another Time – Pearls Before Swine
63   All Too Soon – Mark Heard
64   Everything Must Change – Shirley Horn
65   Livin In The Sunlight – Maurice Chevalier
underwater
•••
ten bonus instrumentals
66   Twin Peaks Theme – Angelo Badalamenti
67   March of The Hoodlums – Duk Ellington
68   Sagitaire – Rene Aubry
69   Valuska – Mihaly Vig
70 Two Studies On Ancient Greek Scales – Harry Partch
71   Im Zoo –  Pyrolator
72   Bucovina – Shantel
73   Zalar Czakl – Frank Zappa
74   Kraftwerk vs Beatles – Soulwax
75   Peace Piece – Bill Evans
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Step Right Up

Click HERE to watch the "65 Songs" trailer!

What songs shall I pick from this vast archive?

Click on images to enlarge.




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sharing Music

     My 65th birthday approaches at the end of this year and I have been going through my multiple-terabyte digital archive of music -- month by month, day by day, song by song -- auditioning selections, deliberating rejections, compiling checklists, surveying themes and scrutinizing segues - to construct this collection of 65 remarkable songs.
     [Fifteen years ago, on 22 December 2001, turning 50 years old, I put together a collection of my favorite 50 songs at the time; resulting in a 3 CD compilation of musical gems I shared with my friends. I have since repeated the process every five years, with a corresponding number of songs.]



Click HERE to see the "trailer".


A full list of song titles and artists will be available soon.

Click on title below to see/hear one of the songs in the collection.

"Take One Last Look" - Tom Waits
 

___________whether with___________
____________your enthusiasm ___________
____________or your wallet:____________
____________SUPPORT_____________
_______________ARTISTS!________________

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ten Ways Of Looking At It

A two minute video 
created from ten clips 
shot on my way home from work 
on 23 September 2016.
Click HERE to watch.
           


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Doin' The Cinema Thing


>>>>>  click on titles to watch  <<<<<


1) Blue. Period. [3 minutes]



2) Two Stories Up! [1 minute]

       Promotional for Anomaly Works NYC



3) Burning Man 2012 [4 minutes]

       A video put together from clips during trip to Burning Man 2012.





4) Visual Disorder (A DNA Thing) [49 seconds]




5) Visual Disorder (A DNA Thing)

      TIME DECAY version  [49 seconds]



6)  Woodstock  (My well spent 18 dollars)

        Original radio ad for Woodstock on WNEW-FM Radio
        Photographs: AleXander Hirka




MORE TO COME