Tag Archives: Chicago

Ginsberg, 1968

Photo: Elsa Dorfman I haven’t got around to posting a lot about 1968, but we’re celebrating the anniversary of one of the craziest years ever, and it’s been helpful for me to look back on that yesteryear chaos to remind myself that these times are comparatively calm. Seriously. While everybody is uneasy about the Supreme [...]

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Midnight Visitor Waits

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen my ornery post last week wherein I linked to an announcement about Leonard Cohen’s new album, and complained about my Nashville music peers constantly celebrating “great” songwriters who shouldn’t even be allowed to mutter Cohen’s name in their prayers. GREAT is a big word, and [...]

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Seeing Colors

Spike Lee’s controversial new film, Chi-Raq shines a spotlight on the out of control gang violence in Chicago. In 1988, Dennis Hopper similarly pointed a camera at the gang violence in his own Los Angeles backyard. Hopper’s film Colors was a gritty-for-the-time cop drama starring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn, but its most important contribution [...]

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Fred’s Dead

In Chicago, on December 4, 1969 police murdered Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. Here’s The Murder of Fred Hampton… Stay Awake! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Counter Culture posts.

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Medium Cool at 45

“Beyond the age of innocence…into the age of awareness,” read the caption at the top of Medium Cool‘s stylized poster when the film was released 45 years ago in 1969. The line is telling in that it speaks to the real-life events at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago that are captured in the film. [...]

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Dylan & Bloomfield

In 1965 Bob Dylan released Bringing it all Back Home — the record’s first side featuring the folk music hero playing with an electric band. In July of that same year, Dylan played the Newport Folk Festival and made history when he took to the hallowed stage with the fully amplified Paul Butterfield Blues Band [...]

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The First Horror Flick

According to the Filmsite page, 1908 was a big year for the movies: the first film industry union was organized, D.W. Griffith began making movies, and A Visit to the Seaside, the first natural color film was released. It was a banner time for the still-new medium, and perhaps the most important milestone of the [...]

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Sun Ra’s Cosmic Cult Film

One of the weirdest cult music movies of all time, Space is the Place (1974) is a fictional film written by Joshua Smith and composer, poet, keyboardist and cosmic philosopher Sun Ra. Born Herman Poole Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, Ra’s music ultimately found him following his muse all over the country from Chicago [...]

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