This Thursday. . .

We’re going to get a visit from legendary Alabama guitarist Davey Williams

Among other things that made up his past, Williams was trained by legendary blues performer, Johnny Shines. After Dinah Washington, Shines is probably the most important musician from Tuscaloosa. . .

Williams largely left traditional blues behind and became more and more engaged with the Punk and improvisational music scene.

Needless to say, improvisational music leaves some folks cold [every music leaves somebody cold] and can take some set-up to make sense of . . . In general, we’re thinking about a music that is not attached to traditional form or structure. . . which is not to say lacking any structure at all. It just responds or moves from different prompts than usual.

Here’s a nice little essay by drummer Gerry Hemingway that might help you think about how this music works:

The Art of Listening

And here’s Davey in improvisational mode. . . followed by a poster for an event Thursday evening:

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David Gilmour, Film Club, essay is due Nov. 21st, at 11:00pm.

Assignment is available on the assignments tab in e-learning. Same rules — please, please, please, submit an attachment. If you had trouble last time. . . try earlier, consult Johnna. What I saw was a lot of folks linking to a desktop shortcut rather than the document itself. Same rules — pdf, doc, docx, rtf, wps — all ok, but please no .pages

Remember this paper is longer than the last. . .

And here it is to make your life easier:

Critical Response to David Gilmour’s memoir Film Club (15 pts); due November 21st, at 11:00pm (1200 words). Submitted via E-Learning

You’ve been attending and writing about the arts for about three months now. I’ve tried to provide you with some data about what best research suggests about the relationship between the arts and our capacity to learn, the health of our democracy, and the vitality of local economies. I’ve tried to introduce you to so folks who are passionate about what they do and work hard to bring beauty, mystery, and richness to our lives. I hope you’ve experienced something this semester that makes you think that the arts might enhance the quality of your life. I do believe with Mike Martone that you will need poetry – or music or painting or theatre or just a good story – someday. But it has been, of course, still somewhat of an academic enterprise. So I like David Gilmour’s memoir of his son’s coming of age as a more direct kind of meditation on the role that the arts – or a particular art form, film – might play in bringing about connection and meaning. What I’d like you to do is reflect — in the most specific way possible – about the significance of Gilmour’s rich hunch about his son’s education and our work this semester. What is it about watching movies that Gilmour believes might redeem his son’s experience with formal education? What is it about watching movies that Gilmour believes might enhance his relationship with his son? Maybe most importantly – how do we need to watch and think about movies to bring about this good? How else might we use this book to think more about your watching, attending, and listening? I won’t regulate any more specifically how you go about writing this reflection. You’re perfectly welcome to write in the first person and invited to go off on any tangent you think relevant. Just don’t lose track of looking to document for me that you’ve done the reading carefully, thoughtfully and with an eye for detail. (In other words, please don’t try to pull this task off by reading a chapter or two or some summary you find online.) A bibliography is only necessary if you choose to go looking for the support of secondary sources, but reminder that the best papers will most certainly be pointing to specific sections of Gilmour’s text. You can simply follow up a direct quotation with the page numbers in parentheses. Have fun.

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I know that a number of you went to see this film at the Bama earlier in the Fall:

Subject of Errol Morris Documentary ‘Tabloid’ Files Suit Against Filmmakers

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Corrupted Nostalgia — Angels

And here’s the pinnacle of Jesse’s hip hop career:

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Technology, Isolation, and the Arts

This might be helpful in thinking about David Gilmour and son and the possibilities of the arts in creating intimacy. . .

Put Down Your Cell Phone

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Mitt Romney and Government Funding for the Arts

Not a political critique or endorsement, but, might compare to the piece we read on Australian cultural policy earlier in the semester. Why are the arts an easy target despite representing a miniscule part of the federal budget?

Romney and the Arts

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The Arts and Afgan and Iraq War Vets

Nice piece — pretty consistent, I’d say, with the research from GIFTS OF THE MUSE — about the therapeutic possibilities of the arts:

Art and Comfort

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