This is weird. In my notes for Friday, I have headings for “Judengasse” and “Hoher Market” but no actual notes; then under the heading “Albertina” I have copious notes for that museum’s retrospective of the 20th century South African artist William Kentridge. But the only thing I remember was one fragment of an 8-part film installation called “I Am Not Me, The House Is Mine”. It sounded like a Talking Heads song, but in fact it was the transcript from Nikolai Bukharin’s Feb. 26, 1937 Communist Party Central Committee Plenary Trial. In it the purged Communist begs to be given 25 years in Siberia instead of a death sentence, before a jeering crowd presided over by Stalin. “But you must
It is my first week in Vienna, exactly 10 years ago in late January 2011. My head spins with dreams of discovery. I have never seen Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb, though I have tasted Bratislava, where I’ll head for a semester-long Fulbright gig next week. The medieval alleys around Fleischmarkt and behind Stefansdom, where I have scored a friendly and impeccable Austrian hotel here in the center of the center of central Europe — Vienna’s Innere Stadt— are oddly quiet. After das grosse Gulasch at Kaffee Alt Wien, more than I could finish, I wander the Graben. This was once the Roman moat, which strikes off from Kartnerstrasse, the old road to the province of Carinthia to the southeast.
The first part of Lost Ladies of the Flowers discovered many talented singer-songwriters who flashed brilliantly and disappeared from view. Here are some who tragically fell, some who faded, some who have even returned. Judee Sill “So this guy and me, we began to do armed robberies,” Judee Sill tells Rolling Stone writer Grover Lewis in a rambling 1972 interview. “We did six or seven, liquor stores and filling stations. Sometimes it was quite exciting. We’d go to a motel afterwards and spill the loot out over the bed.” Sill was talking about 10 years earlier. She had been an angry girl, from a violent home. Her inevitable arrest and 9-month reformatory stint were followed in 1964 with eighteen months