There seems to be a bit of an explosion in learning for fun environments, where the desire for knowledge about life, about the world, is driving both entrepreneurial spirit and culture hunger in really interesting ways. A case in point would be a venture in London called The Lost Lectures. Their tagline: enchanting talks/secret locations, tells you a lot about what they are up to. They find really interesting venues for world class speakers, thinkers, writers, artists etc., to give provocative talks.
Here's one featuring Jake Chapman, half of the Chapman Brothers, provocateurs of the art world.
The site is worth a long exploration and the talks combined with the locations are fantastic. The blurb about themselves says,
It’s an underground series that’s re-imagining the lecture concept, pushing it’s boundaries to their creative edges by creating immersive worlds and unforgettable experiences with World-class speakers across an eclectic host of fields. Each evening we bring together a mix of scientists, artists, techies, designers, entrepreneurs and entertainers and many more in incredible, inaccessible and secret locations.
There has been a bit of a trend wherein rock musicians tackle the musical era that came before pop music. Usually what you wind up with are imitations of old standards, sometimes nicely done, often not so much. So when word came down the pike that none other than Bob Dylan would be releasing a covers album, featuring songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, concerns were voiced. But, as usual, you can't discount the ability of Dylan to surprise. And surprise he does, taking ten songs, all recorded at some point, by Old Blue Eyes, recording them at Capitol Records-Sinatra's recording shrine, and he turns out a unique, bluesy collection of songs and makes them live and breathe in new ways.
Shadows in the Night is revelatory--Rolling Stone's David Fricke, had this to say about the singing on this album,
"The great shock here, then, is Dylan's singing. Dylan's focus and his diction, after years of drowning in sandpaper, evoke his late-Sixties poise and clarity on John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline — also records of deceptive restraint and retrospect — with an eccentric rhythmic patience in the way he holds words and notes across the faint suggestions of tempo. It is not crooning. It is suspense: Dylan, at 73, keeping fate at arm's length as he looks for new lessons, nuance and solace in well-told tales."
It Spooks is a book project I have contributed a couple of things to. A number of writers, thinkers, artists and poets were invited to repsond in some way to an essay written by John Caputo. I offered up a an art piece and a cut-and-paste word poem of caputos essay using a calculation I made up. It will be an interesting piece to own for sure and I'll let you know when it's available. It's a self-published piece, put together by some friends of mine who live and work in Rapid City, South Dakota.