Mr. Struggan sends his regards.

Shameless Plug Sunday: Regarding Mellow Pages Library

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Mellow Pages Library
56 Bogart St, Bushwick, NY

Hello, dear readers. Wilson here, presenting a special Shameless Plug Sunday Regard from Mr. Struggan. As you are aware from our book reviews, Mr. Struggan is an avid reader. What you might not know about Mr. Struggan, though, is that he is also an avid library lover. Mr. Struggan’s two most favoritest librarians, Matt Nelson and Jacob Perkins, are the custodians of the legendary Mellow Pages Library in Brooklyn. They are in need of your help, and Mr. Struggan is here to tell you why you should give it to them. 

Mellow Pages Library is an independent library and reading room located in the heart of Bushwick. Matt and Jacob, in running the space, take pride in two things most of all, their commitment to making available to the public the widest range of small and independent press publications possible, and their commitment to doing so free of charge. That second part is where you come in. Over the last year or so, Mellow pages has enjoyed rapid expansion, which has brought with it much added responsibility that, so far, Matt and Jacob have carried themselves. To insure that their positive vision for the library and its mission continues, they are now launching their first fundraiser via IndieGoGo to help cover the rent, upgrade the space, and maybe even provide a bit of wage to their volunteers. 

Mr. Struggan cannot stress enough how awesome it would be if you threw a little bit of capital Mellow Pages’ way. It would be so awesome, in fact, that Mr. Struggan has a proposition for you: share/retweet/reblog this post and spread the word, and you could receive from Mr. Struggan a free one-year membership to the library. How’d you like them apples books? Very much so, Mr. Struggan would bet. Check the link at the top to contribute to the campaign, and don’t forget to stay mellow. 

Mr. Struggan sends his shameless regards. 

Mr. Struggan’s October Festivities Playlist

Wilson and Nico here. It’s Friday the 11th, and what a better day to release into the world Mr. Struggan’s October Festivities Playlist. This month’s entry into Mr. Struggan’s playlist series is one of our finest to date, and features many treats (and a few tricks to keep you on your toes), including tracks from Leonard Cohen, Chairlift, Haim, Pogo, and many more. Enjoy!

Mr. Struggan sends his regards. 

(Source: Spotify)

Regarding Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals at The Drawing Center

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Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals
The Drawing Center, New York
Sept 27 - Nov 3, 2013

Wilson here. With Fall hitting New York fast, Mr. Struggan asked me last week to begin checking the art calendars for openings to cover. The focus of this weeks art review is the new Sean Scully exhibition at The Drawing Center. The exhibition showcases some of Scully’s early works on paper from the 1970s. Scully has always stood on the periphery of my art historical knowledge, so I was excited to have an excuse to learn more about the artist and his work. 

Scully, born in Dublin in 1945, is without a doubt one of the most accomplished Irish artists of the 20th century, his paintings having been acquired by museums around the world from the MoMA and National Gallery in the US to the Tate Modern in London. The Drawing Center’s exhibition focuses on two series of works on paper, executed in London in 1974 and soon after his arrival in New York in 1975. These 13 drawings are precisely composed in ink, acrylic, graphite, and masking tape and feature arrangements of Scully’s signature vertical and horizontal bands in plaid-like patterns. Accompanying these drawings are 60 framed pages of preparatory sketches from Scully’s notebooks and two large related paintings, also from 1975.  6 experimental works on paper, abstract text compositions made with a typewriter, are also on view. 

Being somewhat familiar with Scully’s paintings from New York’s museum collections, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the exhibition; the rough, patched compositions of his later work, though impressive, have never really resonated with me. That being said, I was really taken by this early work. It displays a much more refined technical quality, focused simply on line and color, and illuminated for me considerably the direction he took as his work evolved later in his career.

The exhibition shines in taking the opportunity to narrate this particular period early in Scully’s career. The notebook pages, framed in ten sequences, dominate the back wall and offer the viewer a rarely seen glimpse into the artist’s process. The two paintings on view in the front of the gallery further contextualize the work, showing how the ideas worked out on paper progressed and matured into large-scale works on canvas. Unfortunately, curators Brett Littman and Joanna Kleinberg took their narrative focus a bit too far. Wall texts at every turn overworked the “early career biography” angle and had too much to say about work that is fully capable of speaking for itself. Additionally, the six typewriter sketches in the show, seemingly included only because they fell into the same time frame as the other work on view, just weren’t interesting. All in all though, Scully’s work is definitely worth seeing if you find yourself in SoHo and jonsing for some good  mid-1970s abstract art. 

Mr. Struggan sends his High Regards

The Mr. Struggan Foundation's Summer Loans

Hello, dear readers, Nico and Wilson here. A sad casualty of Mr. Struggan’s dormant summer has been a lack of funds for the Mr. Struggan Foundation, a Kiva lending team for microloans to loan applicants in the developing world. 

Now that Mr. Struggan is back in action, he is making up for some lost time, and instructed us to disperse funds retroactively for his May, June, July, August, and September loans. Please check out our summer loan recipients below and consider joining Mr. Struggan’s lending team and making a difference. 

May: Carlos Alberto, Columbia [fully funded!]
June: Gbenonkpo Group, Benin [fully funded!]
July: Janet, Kenya [fully funded!, via Kiva ZIP]
August: Richard, USA [$2,355 to go, via Kiva ZIP]
September: Estrellas Celestes Group, Bolivia [$2,400 to go]

Mr. Struggan sends his warm regards. 

Mr. Struggan’s Blue September Playlist

Hey folks, Wilson and Nico here, pleased to present some chilly tracks for and exceedingly chilly month. We hope you enjoy Mr. Struggan’s Blue September Playlist, a choice selection of music for your listening pleasure from the likes of Lou Reed, OutKast, Elvis Presley, the Yardbirds, and more. 

Mr. Struggan sends his regards. 

(Source: Spotify)

Regarding Cowboys Don’t Sing

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Cowboys Don’t Sing, 2013
Written and directed by Dennis Flynn
[image courtesy of Tim Leuke]

Wilson here. As you may recall, we previously reported, at Mr. Struggan’s request, on the premiere of Cowboys Don’t Sing, a musical written by some dear friends of Mr. Struggan, Misters Dennis Flynn and Johnny Kelley. Last month, Cowboys re-emerged as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, staging five performances to rave reviews. This finally afforded me an opportunity to see the show, and offer you, dear readers, a long-overdue review of one of the finest western musicals ever written. 

Cowboys Don’t Sing spins a riotously smart yarn, sending up pretty much every trope and cliche of the western and musical genres you can possibly think of. The curtains rise on a fantastic opening number; a train full of hopeful travelers headed out to the old west, whose optimism at the chance for a fresh start are swiftly, and hilariously, interrupted by a gang of train robbers. Among the passengers are Alice (Megan Beaty) and Max (Jeffrey Sharkey), new transplants to the “singin’ town” of Tombstone Junction, whose residents are fond of regularly expressing themselves though practiced and synchronized song and dance (Mr. Struggan welcomed this clever plot device, which solved for him the main reason he usually hates musicals).

The train heist, along with the mysterious arrival to town of the eponymous Cowboy (TJ Alcala), sends the Sheriff (Matt van Orden) and citizens of Tombstone Junction into a frenzy of twistful suspense and ingeniously clever musical numbers. The end result is a supremely entertaining and satisfying play. The production triumphs in large part due to Flynn’s fresh and confident writing, an exceptional score from Kelley and Alcala, and a tremendous ensemble cast (Beaty, Sharkey, and van Orden deliver standout performances).

Cowboys Don’t Sing is currently in the midst of an extended run, part of the Fringe Festival’s Encore Series. There are two more performances scheduled for this week, Wednesday the 25th and Thursday the 26th, at The Players Theater, 115 MacDougal Street, New York City. 

Mr. Struggan sends his Highest Regards

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