PHOTOS: George Pickow, 1922-2010

El pasado 10 de diciembre falleció el fotógrafo y director de cine estadounidense George Pickow.
Los Angeles, 1922
Folk, Jazz, Pop.
Trabajó con Alan Lomax, historiador folk.
Newport Folk Festival 63-66 (Dylan, Muddy Watters, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Peter, Paul and Mary…)
Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Little Richard, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Jordan, Pete Seeger, Lena Horne, Josh White, Judy Collins…
Life Magazine, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan.
Cámara en los documentales y conciertos dirigidos por Alan Lomax.

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Oss Oss Wee Oss (1953)
Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy
The South West Film & Television Archive collection holds many films illustrating the rich history of folklore, rural cultural heritage and tradition in the region. The May Day ‘Obby Oss’ (or hobby horse) tradition in Padstow has its origins in a spring fertility festival and is an annual custom that continues to this day. This celebration involving traditional song, dance and costume is a closely protected event and has rarely been filmed, however, the archive holds amateur filmed material from 1928 onwards, television footage from 1961 onwards and this unique footage dating from 1953. This documentary is unique in that the production team were allowed unparalleled access to the people involved in the event, capturing the music, dances, and folklore surrounding the tradition. The film was shot by Peter Kennedy, who from the 1950s has made hundreds of sound recordings, and later films, of regional folksongs, music, dancing, story telling, folklore events and customs around Britain and Ireland. Another example of his work in the South West is ‘Shanty Man’ (1950s), recording the work of the men of the Portland Stone quarries who used song and rhymes to help their work. The Archive holds moving image of virtually every folklore and cultural tradition in its area, including harvest rites (such as corn dollies), ship blessings, Helston Floral Day, the Cerne Abbas Giant, and midsummer eve bonfires. Folk music and dance particular to the South West region such as Dartmoor step dancing was recorded by both Westward Television and BBC South West from the 1960s onward and is now held in the Archive, and Broom dancing was also captured on film by Peter Kennedy. Amateur film maker Major Gill also made films illustrating the lives of people and communities in the South West region although he also focused on working practices and industry; both cottage and heavy.

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The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival
1961
Actors: Bob Dylan
Directors: Murray Lerner

Matched only by the Beatles and Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan continues to captivate music and pop culture fans with a seemingly never-ending stream of new and old recordings, books, documentaries, feature films, and more. The Other Side of the Mirror – Live at Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965 is a worthy addition to the canon; whether this 83-minute compilation will serve to illuminate the Dylan myth or merely perpetuate it is open to question, but without a doubt there’s plenty of fascinating material here. There are nearly 20 songs represented, covering three consecutive years of Dylan appearances at the famed Rhode Island festival. Some have been seen before (most recently in No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese’s 2005 Dylan doc, and in Festival, a Newport chronicle released on DVD that same year and directed by Murray Lerner, who is also responsible for The Other Side of the Mirror). Some are from Dylan’s daytime «workshops,» others from his nighttime main stage performances. Some are complete, others oddly truncated. Some are terrific (like «Chimes of Freedom,» 1964), others not so much (cf. the turgid «With God on Our Side» from ’63, with Joan Baez adding shrill harmony). In any case, these were the years when Dylan assumed the mantle of «spokesman of a generation,» whether he wanted it or not. We see him evolving from the earnest young protest singer of ’63 to the visionary artist of the following year who, with the astonishing torrent of rhymes, alliterations, symbols, and brilliant turns of phrase in «Chimes» and «Mr. Tambourine Man,» turned the whole notion of songwriting on its ear. And, of course, we also witness Dylan’s turn from acoustic to electric guitar, when he was joined onstage by members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (sans Butterfield himself) in 1965; only two songs from that legendary (and, at the time, infamous) gig are seen here, and viewed four decades after the fact, neither «Maggie’s Farm» nor «Like a Rolling Stone» is all that special, notwithstanding some searing solo work by guitarist Mike Bloomfield. The DVD package, which includes a bonus interview with Lerner and a nice booklet with liner notes by Tom Piazza, adds to the appeal of what has to rank as a must-have for Dylanologists of every stripe. –Sam Graham

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Jean Richie y Carl Sandburg

Ballads, Blues and Bluegrass1961
Director(s):Alan Lomax, George Pickow

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Folk Songs of The Southern Appalachians
1965

PRESS: The Bee Gees y The New York Times

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Este es el editorial del pasado 29 de noviembre de The New York Times y publicado hoy en IHT.

A cuento:
La canción ‘Stayin’ Alive’ de los Bee Gees (50 años) hace referencia a la ‘Dama de Gris’:

‘BIEN, PODRÍAS DECIR POR MI FORMA DE ANDAR
QUE SOY UN MUJERIEGO: NO HAY TIEMPO PARA HABLAR.
LA MÚSICA ALTA Y LAS MUJERES CALIENTES.
HE CAMINADO SIN RUMBO DESDE QUE NACÍ.
Y AHORA TODO ESTÁ BIEN -ESTÁ O.K.-
Y TÚ PUEDES VERLO DE OTRA FORMA.
TRATAMOS DE ENTENDER EL EFECTO DEL NEW YORK TIMES EN EL HOMBRE’.

Frote el rallador y tendrá una poesía.
Todo sorprendente, como la vida misma.

November 29, 2009
EDITORIAL
Stayin’ Alive
«We can try/to understand/The New York Times effect on man,» the Bee Gees once sang, to which we would say great. You might have at least as much fun just listening or singing or dancing to the rest of «Stayin’ Alive,» which we bet has just wormed into your ear, where it will stay until at least bedtime tonight.
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother or whether you’re whatever, if you’re reading this at about the age of 44 or higher, this might give you a jolt: the Bee Gees’ 50th anniversary. That’s 50, the kind of big round number more often linked to wars, major acts of Congress and old lucky married couples.
But it’s the golden year for two of the Brothers Gibb (Maurice died in 2003), which means they predate the Beatles. If you count the performance last week by Barry and Robin on «Dancing With the Stars,» they are still more or less around, continuing one of the most stupendous runs in pop music.
If you want to fool yourself into thinking that they (and thus you) are not really that old, you can ignore the early Bee Gees and just start counting from the year that «Saturday Night Fever» hit, sending the disco craze over the moon and producing six consecutive American No. 1 singles and the top-selling movie soundtrack ever.
Still, that would be 31. And how can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round?
You can buy «The Ultimate Bee Gees,» two new CDs and a DVD, or just turn your car radio on for a few minutes, and never be far from the time when three Australian-ish guys in white suits and a young man from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — also in a white suit, come to think of it — joined forces and made everybody happy.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive. We’ll rely on each other, uh-huh. You should be dancin’, yeah. Kinda dumb words to live your life by, but can you think of better ones?