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The Outsiders Playlist: Curatorial Jams


This playlist was once impressed through the AGO’s exhibition Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s, operating March 12 to May 31, and compiled through Outsiders co-curator Jim Shedden. Featuring greater than 300 works through Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, Danny Lyon, Gordon Parks, Garry Winogrand and Kenneth Anger, Outsiders items unforgettable portraits of American lifestyles from probably the most maximum politically turbulent and largest musical a long time within the nation’s historical past. The songs under seize the spirit of every of the artists featured. Plug into the playlist throughout your talk over with, or revel in at house. Repeat performs inspired.

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Jim Shedden, co-curator of #OutsidersAGO

These are songs that had been advised to me through the artistic endeavors in Outsiders. They aren’t supposed to include a literal soundtrack to the exhibition. They aren’t all the time traditionally in synch with the paintings, nor are they songs that I believe the artists knew or licensed of. They’re simply songs that got here to me after I idea concerning the works within the demonstrate.

— Jim Shedden



“Dream Lover” (Paris Sisters, 1964)


Anger’s Scorpio Rising is already a riveting soundtrack that includes 13 pop classics from 1962. That were given me fascinated about all of the different instances that Anger made an alchemical mixture of his distinctive photographs with the pop songs of the day. Anger made The Paris Sisters’ “Dream Lover” homoerotic thru its mild however audacious juxtaposition with this straightforward collection of panning photographs of a male buffing a scorching rod, all set in opposition to a saturated red backdrop.

“Can’t Get it Out of My Head” (Electric Light Orchestra, 1974)


Anger made a number of soundtracks for Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome: one through Harry Partch, one through Leoš Janáček, and one that set the movie to ELO’s El Dorado. “Can’t Get it Out of My Head” is from the ultimate model and, although Anger has grew to become again to Partch, the ELO model is known.


“Million Dollar Bash” (Bob Dylan & The Band, 1967/1975)


“Million Dollar Bash” is one of the good songs through Dylan and The Band recorded throughout the Basement Tapes periods. I don’t know if Dylan and Winogrand ever met, or both of them cared concerning the different’s paintings. They each strike me as unfastened spirits: unaligned, completely dedicated to their apply, allergic to hype and bull. Dylan’s “Million Dollar Bash” is a track about pleasure, at the same time as he’s poking amusing at probably the most attendees, just like the “large unload blond/together with her wheel within the gorge” and “Turtle, that buddy of theirs/With his tests all cast/And his cheeks in a piece.” Winogrand, in a similar fashion, appears to be concurrently celebrating and admonishing.

“Tom’s Diner” (Suzanne Vega, 1987)


“Tom’s Diner” is upbeat, full of life, and bursting with personalities, the best way Winogrand’s images are. The everlasting chaos of New York is captured through each Winogrand and Vega, who paints an image of herself in a diner, a person pouring espresso distracted through a girl shaking her umbrella, either one of them kissing their hellos, whilst Vega reads a tale about an actor who died whilst was once ingesting, however turning to the horoscope and the funnies she feels any individual looking at her, and notices it’s a girl at the out of doors taking a look within, taking a look at her mirrored image, and hitching up her skirt and straightening her stockings, however Vega is remembering your voice and the middle of the night picnic, and must catch the educate.


“Mr. P.C.” (Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, 1961)


Lambert, Hendricks & Ross’s vocalese model of Coltrane’s nice “Mr. P.C.” sounds so Cool and so hipster. It was once, if truth be told, an overly a hit try to deliver just a little of the Beat sensibility to the mainstream, aspirations very similar to Frank, Leslie and Kerouac’s Pull My Daisy.

“Little Boxes” (Malvina Reynolds, 1962)


Pete Seeger’s quilt of “Little Boxes” is so well-known that folks assume it’s the primary, lacking the boat on Malvina Reynolds’s excellent authentic. The track encapsulates Pull My Daisy’s sentiment precisely: down with senseless bourgeois conformity!


“Teach Your Children Well” (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 1970)


Graham Nash, of The Hollies and CSNY status, could also be a photographer and a images collector. He wrote “Teach Your Children Well” after seeing Diane Arbus’s “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” (1962).

“Everyday People” (Sly and the Family Stone, 1969)


I will be able to’t in point of fact see Arbus paying attention to Sly and the Family Stone, however “Everyday People”’s “other strokes for various other folks” message is completely in synch with Arbus’s venture: “the butcher, the banker, the drummer, the blue one, the yellow one that gained’t settle for the black one that gained’t settle for the purple one that gained’t settle for the white one, an extended hair that doesn’t like the quick hair for being this sort of wealthy one that won’t lend a hand the deficient one, a fats one looking to be a thin one, and so forth and so forth, and scooby dooby dooby.” We were given to are living in combination.


“Another Hundred People” (Stephen Sondheim/Pamela Myers, 1970)


Menken’s Go! Go! Go! doesn’t want a soundtrack, however its photographs counsel such a lot of significant other compositions. Sondheim’s “Another Hundred People”, like Menken’s movie, is a love letter to New York, that apparently chaotic ecosystem, that “town of strangers/Some come to paintings, some to play/A town of strangers/Some come to stare, some to stick…the crowded streets and the guarded parks/By the rusty fountains and the dusty timber with the battered parks.”

“Opening, Glassworks” (Philip Glass, 1981)


Go! Go! Go! will remind some folks of Koyaanisqatsi. That is smart. So why now not flirt with a Philip Glass soundtrack as with Godrey Reggio’s motion pictures? Rather than one of the tremendous kinetic ratings, I counsel a extra contemplative piece to pair with Go! Go! Go!, Glass’s miniature masterpiece “Opening” from Glassworks.


“A Change Is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke, 1964)


“A Change Is Gonna Come” is an obtrusive track to pair with Parks, however every so often it’s a must to embody the most obvious. Both Cooke and Parks produce one thing beautiful and hopeful out of the hell of the 1960s “race riots”, from Birmingham to Harlem, Rochester, Philadelphia, Watts, Tampa, Houston, Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Chicago, Louisville, Washington, Cleveland, Jackson…

“Shhh/Peaceful” (Miles Davis, 1969)


“Shhh/Peaceful” from In a Silent Way isn’t precisely obtrusive, excluding that it’s a made of its time and position, and represents the last decade of alternate (however now not sufficient alternate) for the African-American group within the U.S. It’s meditative, and that may well be what you wish to have for Parks’s deeply irritating images, but it surely’s additionally been known as “area song,” characterised through “deep emotion and unaffected originality” (Lester Bangs). Chip O’Brien wrote, “There is a gorgeous resignation within the sounds of this album, as though Davis is willingly letting pass of what has come earlier than…of his early ’60s paintings, and is embracing the long run, now not most effective of jazz, however of song itself”.


“Friday on My Mind” (The Easybeats, 1966)


When you’re now not allowed to be the individual you might be, however there’s salvation within the weekend: was once it that straightforward for any individual going to Casa Susanna? Probably now not. But everyone knows the sensation of looking ahead to the weekend, and I believe if I had one thing to cover like being a drag queen within the early 1960s then I’d additionally in finding that Monday I had Friday on my thoughts.

“More Than a Woman” (Bee Gees, 1977)


There’s no rational connection between this track and drag queens in upstate New York within the 1960s, however the connection is there nevertheless. Once “More Than a Woman” was once queered at the homosexual dance flooring of the 1970s, it was unimaginable for it to be the rest however that for me. So, I consider the guests to Casa Susanna travelling forward in time and having a ’70s/80s disco dance birthday party with this track, “I’m Coming Out,” “Love to Love You Baby,” “Dancing Queen,” and “I Will Survive.”


“The Music That Makes Me Dance” (Barbara Streisand, 1964)


“When Jason Holiday sings “The Music That Makes Me Dance” from Funny Girl in the midst of Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason (Film-Makers Cooperative, 1967), he does it with such show-stopping brio that you’ll nearly listen the orchestral accompaniment happening in his head. Standing, every so often swaying to this silent song in a room that moderately aptly resembles the place of business of a semi-retired New England psychiatrist, he sings directly into the digicam and, like another seasoned performer, provides it the entirety he’s were given, belting the track as though it represented the danger of an entire life.” (Tom Sutpen)

“I’m your guy”(Leonard Cohen, 1988)


“If you wish to have a lover,
I’ll do the rest you inquire from me to
And if you wish to have any other roughly love,
I’ll put on a masks for you…

“If you wish to have a boxer,
I will be able to step into the hoop for you
And if you wish to have a physician,
I’ll read about each and every inch of you
If you wish to have a motive force, climb within
Or if you wish to take me for a journey,
You know you’ll
I’m your guy” (Leonard Cohen)


“Ramblin’ Man” (Hank Williams, 1951)


“I will be able to calm down and be doin’ simply superb
Til’ I listen an outdated educate rollin’ down the road
Then I hurry directly house and pack
And if I didn’t pass, I imagine I’d blow my

Williams’ protagonist (Williams himself?) may just very a lot be driving down the highway on a hog, although right here he’s hopping on a educate.

“Ramblin’ Man” (The Allman Brothers Band, 1973)


Inspired through the Williams track, The Allman Brothers Band’s track strikes a chord in my memory of Lyon characters, albeit on a Greyhound on this case: “Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the most productive” they are able to, “And when it’s time for leavin’/I’m hoping you’ll perceive/That I used to be a born a ramblin’ guy.” It’s now not simply the lyrics, although: the track’s close to absolute best rhythm phase and godly guitar solo through Duane Allman deliver me to the similar chic position that Lyon’s images do: the non secular frontier represented through America, and as noticed in Kerouac, and in pop culture and literature since Huck Finn, if one replaces the open highway with the Mississippi River.


“Chelsea Girls” (Nico, 1967)


Nico’s haunting “Chelsea Girls”, made a 12 months after Warhol’s movie of the similar identify, is a ballad of a New York scene very similar to Nan Goldin’s a decade later: “deviant” sexuality, medicine, and a vibrant ensemble of characters. The movie and the track, written through Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison, are very a lot The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’s pre-history.

“Love in Vain” (Rolling Stones, 1969)


The Stones overlaying Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain.” Johnson’s model of the track is solely unhappy. In remodeling it right into a country-rock track, the Stones refashion it as ambivalent: love in useless, perhaps, but in addition love as redemption. This could be very a lot my enjoy of Goldin’s Ballad.


The AGO’s exhibition Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s runs March 12 to May 31.

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