ON AN ON - Ghosts photo

ON AN ON – Ghosts

On An On est formé par d’ex-membres du groupe Scattered : Nate Eiesland, Alissa Ricci et Ryne Estwing ont décidé d’essayer des choses qu’ils n’avaient pas l’habitude de faire avec leur ancien groupe et leur son déjà établi.

C’est avec le producteur de Broken Social Scene, Dave Newfeld, qu’ils enregistrent leur premier album, autour du morceau Ghosts :

There are spirits coming to find me
They’re not stopping until it’s done
I can feel them taking me over

I can see them from fifty-six miles away
But I can’t hear what they’re saying
They gotta believe me that I’ll never forget you

Every day the ghosts are going to fly
Every way I know I’m going to try
To keep you alive, to keep you alive

Take me out into the night
It was all you didn’t say, you had no fight
I was on the verge to scream
When you wouldn’t scream about anything
I don’t want to be your stupid fling or your magazine
That you look and turn the pages
Of someone else that you’ll never love

And I was on the verge to scream
When you wouldn’t scream about anything

Cela s’écoute très bien et cela va de l’avant. L’album Give In est sorti le 29 janvier 2013 chez Roll Call Records.

Andrew Bird - Three White Horses photo

Andrew Bird – Three White Horses

Andrew Wegman Bird (né en 1973) est une auteur-compositeur multi-instrumentaliste américain qui vient de Chicago.

Son originalité est servie par l’utilisation d’instruments comme le violon et le glockenspiel.

Enfin lors de ses concerts, il utilise l’oversampling pour jouer par-dessus ses propres boucles, ce qui lui offre un son plus proche du groupe de rock que de l’artiste solo :

Entre jazz, folk, rock et soul, il impose un univers riche, sobre et très personnel.

Cela risque de tourner en boucle sur les radios.


The Chicago Code saison 1

The Chicago Code est une nouvelle série policière de Shawn Ryan (The Shield) diffusée sur FOX.

Teresa Colvin, la première femme superintendant de la police de Chicago, milite pour la création d’une équipe dédiée à la corruption de la ville pour enquêter sur Alderman Ronin Gibbons, un magnat du bâtiment qui se tourne vers la politique.

Pendant ce temps, l’ex-équipier de Colvin et l’un des vétérans du département de police de Chicago, Jarek Wysocki, enquête sur un meurtre mystérieux dans Grant Park avec sa nouvelle équipière Caleb Evers.

Sous la protection de Jarek, il y a aussi sa nièce Vonda Wysocki, son équipier Isaac Joiner et Liam Hennessey, un malfrat irlandais qui se mèle au monde gris du crime local.

Lire la suite


Boardwalk Empire saison 1

Voici la première saison de Boardwalk Empire, diffusée sur HBO et basée sur le livre de Nelson Johnson qui s’intitule Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City. Cette série raconte l’histoire d’Atlantic City, cité du jeu et du vice.

boardwalk empire

Nous sommes à Atlantic City, au début de la Prohibition. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) fait une vente d’alcool illégal en visitant Arnold Rothstein, gangster de New York, et s’intéresse à une mère au foyer qui a un mari qui abuse d’elle.

Pendant ce temps, Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), vétéran de la première guerre mondiale et protégé de Thomson, rencontre un jeune et violent criminel du nom d’Al Capone.

Lire la suite

Evolution of Organized Crime photo

Evolution of Organized Crime

Evolution of Gangsterism

1929: Wall Street crash. Prohibition is an attempt to decrease the revenue of alcohol.

1933: election of Franklin Roosevelt, who sets up the New Deal.

1934: Repeal of the Prohibition. Roosevelt had realized the importance of the ethnic vote, and especially the Catholic vote.

Creation of the Work Progress Administration (W.P.A.): the state provides the jobs. The Organized Crime became less of a necessity.

The vision of the gangster also evolved in the movies: he is now presented as a thing of the past.

When R. Sullivan gets out of prison after the repeal of the Prohibition, he does not fit in anymore: he is out of touch. The idea that once you have been into illegal activities you can take the money and go into legal activities (some Jewish businessmen are grand-children of earlier Organized Crime gangsters).

Gangsterism is doomed to vanish but the gangsters have not disappeared, they are still killed by other gangsters.

To go legit: to go legitimate.

Gangland reconversion: gangster could change by investing illegal money into illegal business.

The Organized Crime went more and more into legal activities. The State creates its own counterpower: the lottery, which is legal in certain states.

Las Vegas was created by the Mafia (Bugsy Siegel). He opened the first casino, the Stardust; which was totally controlled by the Mafia and connected between legal and illegal activities.

Siegel was also interested in Hollywood but there was no very known widespread involvement of Organized Crime into the movie industry, except for the Browne-Bioff episode.

The Browne-Bioff plan

The Browne-Bioff episode started in Chicago: Willy Bioff was a Chicago racketeer in partnership with George Browne, local official for trade union (I.A.T.S.E.: International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees).

The association had a campaign of extortion from theater director in order to avoid strikes and loss of money.

This campaign extended nationwide and touched Hollywood (RKO and Fox gave money in exchange for peace in the labor front). In 1941, all came to the surface.

Joseph M. Schenk, president of Fox, got arrested by the police and in exchange for a lighter sentence, he denounced the Browne-Bioff plan.

World War II

The structure of the Organized Crime did not change except that it sometimes worked with the American government.

The Americans feared German submarines to attack the coast so the Organized Crime insured the waterfront workers’ liability to the government.

The Cold War

1951: the Kefauver commission was set up to investigate crime and Mc Carthy was against the communists. Both are often associated.

The Kefauver commission was headed by Senator Kefauver (for Tennessee).

In 1950, he became chairman of the Senate committee to Investigate Organized Crime in interstate commerce. The committee studied:

  • inter-state gambling and racketeering
  • use of inter-state facilities for Organized Crime (railway…)

1967-1968: Omnibus Crime Bill, allowing for wire topping. Organized Crime is a reflection of American society. It places the Kefauver commission in the Cold War atmosphere.

Sommaire de la série Organized Crime in America during the Prohibition (1929-1951)

  1. Evolution of Organized Crime
  2. Organized Crime : Expression and Repression
  3. Organized Crime and the Prohibition
  4. Organized Crime in America
  5. Organized Crime: Repression and Censorship
Organized Crime : Expression and Repression photo

Organized Crime : Expression and Repression

There is a parallel between Organized Crime and the movie industry. Organized Crime was one of the ways for social climbing, of getting out of poverty and ethnic matters.

In the main Hollywood studios, many directors were ethnics: Samuel Goldwyn and Louis Mayer (M.G.M. studios: Metro Goldwyn Mayer), David O. Selznick, Charles Chaplin…

The cinema was a new technology founded by the elite, the ethnic entrepreneurs and the W.A.S.P. businessmen. Some innovative sections of business were opened for the same reason (legitimate, profitable). These people found a renovation of the American Dream either in the Organized Crime or in cinema.

Producers did not push gangsters films for the simple reason that it was not that popular at the time. They gave the public what they wanted (and the WASP were rather conservative). It is only when it generalized that gangster movies “took off”.

Another connection: several actors became movie stars because of their ethic origins: James Cagney was Irish. (Public Enemy), Paul Muni was (Scarface)…

They brought the ethnic accent to the screen. They would have never been movie stars with classic films. It is thanks to the gangsters movies and to the parallel made with Organized Crime.

Chicago beer wars

In Chicago, W. Dever was mayor from 1923 to 1927. He was not good at jailing gangsters, because of the reciprocity of exchanges between the gangsters and the politicians.

As a result, the gangsters widened their territory: Southside Beer Wars (1923-1928), Westside Beer Wars (1924-1929).

The Irish were set against the Italians: was it for economic or ethnic matters? It was more economic. The gangs were created along ethnic lines but there were connections.

Famous gangsters in New York

Arnold Rothstein, Lepke Buchalter, Meyer Lansky and Ben Siegel, “Lucky” Luciano…

Gangster movies and censorship

Moral reason: by showing violence on screen you might induce violence to children and immigrants (stereotypes of being children). Since movies were not rated (not before 1962), once approved they could be seen by anyone.

Technical reason: their impact were very new. The sound technology and the editing dictated the pace of the film: juxtaposition of murders and car crashes, fast synthetic collection of acts of violence. Without the sound, this is not half as efficient: the soundtrack is part of the movie.

A film is a democratic form of art, seen by everyone (thus different from literature).

Gangster movies portrayed realistically what happened in American cities.

In Scarface, the archetypal symbol of the cross (symbol of death) can be found at strategic moments: when the pictures of the murder are in the newspaper: the place of the body is symbolized by a cross. It is a mise-en-scene of the feeling of realism.

Sommaire de la série Organized Crime in America during the Prohibition (1929-1951)

  1. Evolution of Organized Crime
  2. Organized Crime : Expression and Repression
  3. Organized Crime and the Prohibition
  4. Organized Crime in America
  5. Organized Crime: Repression and Censorship