Fake, Phony, Fraud

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A room in the Palazzo Pitti, a Medici palace,

Florence, Italy

Just about every element above the door level is an illusion:  paint on a flat surface.

There are no balconies;

There are no railings;

There are no statues;

There are no men standing on the balconies on the far left;

There are no curved arches;

There are no three-dimensional decorations on the ceiling.

Paint, paint, paint on a flat surface.

The projection of power and wealth through a magic trick.

The emperor has no clothes.

 

 

Jazz and Self-Determination

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Photo by Lucas Allmann on Pexels.com

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These are some excerpts broadcast today on Arts Express from a fascinating panel called “Jazz and Self Determination” at this year’s Left Forum. The speakers you’ll hear in order are Jeremiah Hosea, Ras Moshe Burnett, Ahmed Abdullah, Greg Tate, and moderator Althea Sully Cole. Listen as they grapple with what self-determination means to a jazz musician both personally and creatively.

 

That Business Called Show

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Monday morning, Miss Merman doing what she did best.

Years ago, I was visiting someone in Roosevelt hospital in NYC, and to my surprise, there was Ethel, unpretentiously doing volunteer clerk work.

Thanks to YouTuber Alan Eichler

Wall Poem

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Florence, Italy

We saw a number of different poems pasted to walls in Florence. I know very little Italian, but here’s my best attempt at the English translation of this one, based on a variety of internet translation sites and a large dose of poetic license. Feel free to let me know if you have a better translation:

Flying

This shaded roof
with a fiery frame
its excess
piercing the air.

The view from up here:
calm,
alive.

The scary sky
cradles me
while I travel between its layers
and the next dream.

 

“Nothing Here Is Real”

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The entertaining magician and mentalist Gary Ferrar (whose grandfather was a lion tamer) talks with us about his new show of mental illusions called “Nothing Here Is Real.” As a bonus, he performs a mindreading effect directed at yours truly on the air.

You can listen to Gary’s interview and mentalism effect, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC, by clicking on the grey triangle above.

Heaven’s Door

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I’ve posted a great Dylan version of this song on the blog previously, but Monday morning I’m posting this one too, because it’s very good, and we’re all looking over our shoulders these days.

More at Josh Turner Guitar

One More Left Turn

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My friend, Mitchel Cohen, has just published a new book, The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup: The Politics of Pesticides, and once again, as he did three years ago, he asked me to participate in a Left Forum panel—as a magician. I put on my thinking cap, and this is what I came up with to provide some entertainment for the troops.

FYI: The messages on the index cards read:

Say No To GMOs

Ban Glyphosate

Build Community

Defeat Monsanto

All The Things You Are: Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald

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Monday morning, we go legit. If you follow my blog regularly, you might know that this is one of my favorite jazz standards (see here and here and here for other versions). But it was originally written for a Broadway play for two duets with a lush orchestra. Here are  two wonderful legit singers, Norm Lewis and the extraordinary Audra McDonald, with their heavenly version.

Thanks to YouTuber Kylie Briggs

Federico Garcia Lorca And The Duende

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Federico Garcia Lorca was an extraordinary poet, painter, composer, actor, director, playwright, and socialist. We celebrated his June birthday on Arts Express today with a short selection of his poems read in English by myself and the wonderful Mary Murphy.

You can hear the poems and a brief intro as broadcast on WBAI 99.5FM NYC by clicking on the grey triangle above.

Psychic Spoon Bending With Fry And Laurie

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The mysterious Hugh Laurie demonstrates his awesome psychic spoon bending abilities to the somewhat skeptical Stephen Fry. Any resemblance to psychics living or dead is purely intentional.

Thanks to YouTuber Meghan Lee