CD Review: “I Am Love” by I Am Love

Album: I Am LoveArtist: I Am LoveStyle: Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Indie RockReleased: January 20, 2015Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis I Am Love just released a self-titled album which reflects their personal tastes in music: the psychedelic; the Vaudevillian; a little Seattle grunge; and what, for lack of a better term, is called theatrical rock. At the […]

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CD Review: The Great Escape

Album: The Great EscapeArtist: The Great EscapeStyle: Alternative, PopReleased: October 17, 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis In today’s world, most bands attempt to search for, and lay claim to, a sound that is original and singularly their own – something unique that makes them stand out from the zillions of other bands. Correctly or not, they […]

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CD Review: Be Yourself by Dimestore Prophets

Artist: Dimestore ProphetsAlbum: Be YourselfStyle: Groove, Reggae, Rock, Pop, AcousticRelease Date: April 5, 2014Reviewed by: Christopher Zoukis Dimestore Prophets (not to be confused with “Dime Store Prophets,” a Christian rock band that dissolved in the late ’90s and known for a song called “Hitler’s Girlfriend”) bills itself as a three-piece groove, rock, and reggae band […]

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Hans Hoffmann

Hans Hoffmann was born in Bavaria.  In 1932, at the age of 52, he immigrated to the United States, where he lived until his death in 1966.  He taught art at the University of California at Berkeley, where he emphasized spatial illusion and color.  This emphasis was evident in his abstract paintings.  Hoffmann’s artistic theories […]

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The Stations of the Cross

By Christopher Zoukis

One large, flat rectangle, dark gray in color, stands like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  In front of it, like small children who cannot contain their energy, two smaller oblongs of the same color and density lie on their heels.  All three are made of rock.  What kind of rock, I don’t know.  Perhaps granite, perhaps black marble.

They are tombstones.  The large monolith reads:  BARNETT NEWMAN.  The letters engraved in four-inch letters in the hard, polished surface of the rock, like one of the Ten Commandments. 

On the left of the smaller rectangles is engraved:  BARNETT NEWMAN.  Underneath the name it says:  January 29, 1905 – July 4, 1970.

The smaller rectangle on the right carries the name of his wife.  Obviously, Barnett gets top billing because he was the star of the family.  He dropped dead of a heart attack.

The three tombstones reside in Montefiore Cemetery, Saint Albans, Queens County, New York.  The street address is 121-83 Springfield Boulevard.

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Mark Rothko

By Christopher Zoukis

East Marion Cemetery, Suffolk County, New York:  the odor of pine trees, grass and inactivity loiters in the air.  Tall pine trees responsible for the pitch smell stand in the distance like a living, green wall around the cemetery.  In symbology, evergreen signifies immortality.  Which is ironic, since all illusions of immortality have come and gone for the permanent residents of East Marion Cemetery. 

The dead know only disappointment.

In olden times pine trees were thought to preserve bodies from corruption, which explains why they used it in coffins and in cemeteries.  And the fruit of the pine tree, the cone, was considered both flame-shaped and phallic, representing masculine creative energy and fecundity and good luck.  To the Jews, the pine cone is a symbol of life.

There are lots of Jews buried here.

Grass in cemeteries signifies submission.  In this case, submission to death.  And grass abounds here, stretching far and wide.  Plus it adds a peaceful note to the proceedings. 

The tang of inactivity is the polite acknowledgement of the discomfiture that death has caused.  No one who resides here has anything to do.

Near one of the corners, not too far from the pine trees, sits a small gray boulder, weighing more than an American luxury car.  Its shape is that intended by God and nature, which is in a word, natural.  On one side, though, the front side, a machine has cut out a rectangle, leaving a smooth, flat surface.  This flat surface, and the letters and dates on it inform us that it is a gravestone.

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