Adel Souto

writer / musician / troublemaker

Rhapsody in Green

In 1978, French label Tchou Livre-Disque released yet another 12” by Roger Roger (real name), but with a twist. Titled De La Musique & Des Secrets Pour Enchanter Vos Plantes the album wasn’t meant for humans.
Rather than the usual electronic Library Music they churned out, this record was equal parts neo-classical, and electronic music. This may have been due to that most of the music was collaborated with French electro-pioneer Georges Achille Teperino aka Nino Nardini.
If one can read French the liner notes (by Martin Monestier, who came up with the record’s concept) explain the music is designed to be played for plants to promote health and growth, as he points out how scientists show rock music kills plants.



Below is a track off this LP in case you have some plants around that need help. I send them my best.

Side A “Effluves” (6.3 Mb @ 64kbps)

Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument

Yesterday, I visited Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn to see the Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument - which is actually the 3rd one built. In 1808 it was first in Central Park, then in 1873 was moved to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The city of New York decided it wanted a bigger memorial, and the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument was constructed in 1908.



It was designed by architect Stanford White, who also drew up the plans for the second Madison Square Garden and the Washington Square Monument.



Through the main doors of the crypt, there is a passageway which leads to a three-coffined chamber under the column. In these large coffins are held the remains (bones) of several thousand U.S. prisoners, which were held captive on British war ships.



After walking up the 99 steps, one comes up to the Doric column, which is granite, and measures 149 feet. It has two brass doors on the east and west side, and a plaque on its southern end.



Atop the column is a brass funerary urn, that is 23 feet tall and weighs 8 tons.



The urn was designed by sculptor Adolf Weinman, who also created the four brass eagles which are located on the four corners of the square containing the column.



There isn’t much more to see here, besides a plaque donated by Juan Carlos King of Spain, and other sundries.



I do wish one could enter the crypt, or even the column, but the times (and the powers that be) don’t allow it.
Still, it was an interesting visit to a small slice of the area’s history.

Troutman Hanging Gardens

On the 24th, I took a walk into Bushwick to see something really weird, which I have begun calling the “Troutman Hanging Gardens”.
Hey, what do you do on Xmas Eve?
Anyhow, on Troutman Street (between Irving Ave and Knickerbocker Ave) in Brooklyn, there is a line of trees covered with toys, stuffed animals, paintings and other oddities.
As you walk upon them from either direction, it starts off small, where only one or two items hang from the trees.





But soon, you’ll find the trees covered.





Until you find the “Great Tree” in the center of the block.



Within this tree are cute items, like stuffed animals, but there are also odd ones, such as a gay Ken doll (complete with disco ball), and even a mask from the movie Scream.



Again, as you move away from the center, the trees get more and more bare, though some of the tschotskes are still eye catching.





No one is sure as to who has been doing this, or - at least - the locals ain’t saying. When asked, “Why?” many repeat, “To make our neighborhood look nicer.”



I’m not sure how “nice” this looks, but any answers to help solve this mystery are appreciated.

Flushing Meadows - Corona Park

I was thinking of areas I’ve been wanting to see, but have yet to visit, and the old World’s Fairground in Queens came to mind.
The park area, now called Flushing Meadows - Corona Park, contains a national tennis center, and venue for the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the home of the New York Mets baseball team (Citi Field), New York Hall of Science, Queens Museum of Art, Queens Theatre, Queens Wildlife Center, and the remains of the New York State Pavilion. Until demolished, Shea Stadium was also located in Flushing Meadows.
I, of course, went to see the old pavilions from the 1964 World’s Fair.





The pavilion was designed by modernist architect Philip Johnson in 1960, and work began in 1962. It was finished in time for the ‘64 World’s fair, and parts still remain in use, though much is abandoned. The pavilion was finally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.





After walking the remains of NY State Pavilion, I headed to the rear of the Queens Museum to shoot the Unisphere, a 12-story, stainless steel model of our planet.





Designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, it was to represent “man’s achievements on a shrinking globe in an expanding Universe”.



Afterward, I walked much of the park, and stumbled upon this beautiful Roman column, given to the park as a gift in 1964 by King Hussein of Jordan, which is dated from 120 CE.



I did not traverse the entire park, so I missed works and sculptures by Jose De Rivera, Donald De Lue, Eric Fischl and others, not to mention I did not come across the infamous Fountain of the Planet of the Apes.
This way, I have a reason to return.

New Photo Blogs!

I have begun a series of photo blogs.

FORGOTTEN RIDES



DOORWAY GALLERIES



and AD REMOVAL AS MODERN ART



Two of the three will be updated twice a week. Guess which by dropping by often.
Enjoy!

Taking A Look At A Moment Lost

The newest 156 EP has been released as a limited edition cassette on Los Angeles label Chondritic Sound.



This recording was the last work before 156 handled nothing but death. In Taking A Look… the listener is taken back to the original tribal style and ritualistic sounds heard on the self-titled debut CD.
156’s Memento Mori sessions, using all human bones, are wrapping up. Sample a clip here. That session will be released as 10” vinyl on a private press.

Get Out of Here!

In 1984, artist and friend, George Petros (along with Adam Parfrey) created Exit Magazine, which lasted five issues, though there was a sixth unreleased issue.



The magazine was one of the most controversial art rags around.
Politically incorrect as it could be, it contained art and articles by Charles Manson, GG Allin, Anton LaVey, Joe Coleman, Richard Kern, H.R. Giger, Lydia Lunch, Richard Ramirez, Genesis P-Orridge, Raymond Pettibon, JG Thirlwell, Nick Zedd, Robert Williams, plus several handfuls of other iconoclasts. One may be able to find copies on eBay for $100 and up.
In 1998, the series was released as a book, The Exit Collection, on Tacit. It has been sold out for years, and copies currently go for about the same as the ‘zines.
Recently, George decided to archive all the issues of Exit to upload, and catalog it on the internet, for everyone’s enjoyment.
Have fun killing an hour or two over at Exit Magazine's archived website here.

Again!?

Last year, around this time, Miami’s incredible Blowfly made it up to The Knitting Factory, and I was there, though late.
I had been on a several-day birthday celebration, and what better way to keep it going? However, when a man gets a message like this, he knows he’s got to move it.
Listen to 60’s funk and parody artist Blowfly put a curse on me for my tardiness: Blowfly chews out A.S. (600 Kb wav file).



I pressed 2 for months.
Anyhow, if you are unaware as to who Blowfly is, you are so very uncool. You dig?
Blowfly is Miami’s original, and world’s first, dirty rapper. Sexist, racist, offensive, but you’ll love every word of it.
Blowfly was born Clarence Reid in Cochran, Georgia and later moved to Miami, Florida. He soon got his act solid when a relative scolded one of his dirty rhymes with, “You is nastier than a blowfly.”
He released his first record in 1965, and “Rap Dirty” was to be the first of the dirty-dance numbers, let alone the first rap album. He followed that sucker up with close to forty more releases and even a documentary film, The Twisted World of Blowfly.
His tracks have been sampled by Puff Daddy, Ice Cube and Jurassic 5, and Reid has also written clean numbers for the likes of Betty Wright and KC and the Sunshine Band.
He was almost forgotten and chances are you would have never heard of him if it wasn’t for Miami journalist Tom Bowker (who set up Blowfly’s band, as well as handles the drums).
That evening was a haze, but Blowfly killed it, as did the legendary Andre Williams, and soulful Barrence Whitfield, but this next one should be even wilder.



This year, Blowfly is playing an early show at MoMA PS1 in Brooklyn on Sunday, November 24th.
So drop on by for some nasty raps! Maybe we’ll hang after, and you can run off with some of my birthday cake.

Tompkins Square Hawk

I had decided to take a stroll throughout the LES and Village to get some photos for a few new blogs I’m creating.
Earlier in the day, a friend had posted how she saw a hawk catch, and eat, a bunny. I thought of the majesty of nature, and all its greatness, but I also thought how I hadn’t seen a scene like that since 2008. While trespassing in an abandoned auditorium, I saw a bird of prey fly off after walking in on it, interrupting its lunch, leaving behind the pigeon it had caught.
On this walk, I got to Tompkins Square Park, and thought to take pictures of autumn leaves.



Soon, I feel eyes upon me, and look in their direction.



I felt a connection, and then the beast swooped down right by me, landing only feet away.



I thought he wanted to say “hello”, until I noticed the tiny snack of a mouse.



After gulping down the rodent (which apparently taste better than the hundreds of squirrels everywhere), it perched right by my side, and I pulled out my phone, because if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen.



After a few moments, that beautiful creature took off, taking a piece of my spirit with it, as I soared for a bit after.

So Not Sexy

I have a previously-unpublished piece, titled “Sex: It’s Out of My Hands”, in the FILTH issue (#7) of the San Francisco lit/art fanzine Be About It.



The article is about the hidden layers of nasty, yet sublime, sluttiness you can hunt down via the internet. It was read at only one FL performance in 2010.
The zine is $4 (postage paid), but you can contact them here for more order info.
I also had an autobiographical story, “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, in their TRIUMPH issue (#3). Ask if they have any of those around, too, if you are interested.