Wednesday, August 26, 2009

...and now, this week, at number 199...

Soon to be upon us - the anniversary of the beginning of the recording of one of the defining albums of the late 1960's. Although much of the gentility and beauty present on the first album is missing here - John Cale famously referred to it as 'consciously anti-beauty,' the album itself remains without peer - especially in its use of negative imagery and in its sheer artistic bloody mindedness. The album was produced by Tom Wilson - whose anniversary is also very soon - the often neglected producer of; as well as The Velvets, Bob Dylan, The Mothers of Invention and Simon and Garfunkel.

'The Gift'

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hit Hitler...

Richard Herring is currently performing at the Edinburgh festival this year - until the 30th of August, at the White belly; part of the Underbelly complex on/at George IV bridge. Herring has long had a problem with facial hair and this, his latest attempt at exhibitionism, should be unavoided at all costs. Especially as it's only a tenner...

Tedstock Part 1

Tedstock Part 2

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"I am more and more a Christian. . . Suffer dishonour and disgrace, but never resort to arms. Be bullied, be outraged, be killed: but do not kill."

(in memory of...)

Le Feu

Harry Patch was a remarkable man. The story of his life is the story of a man who survived the horrors of the trenches; in his own case those of Passchendaele, living to tell a story of courage, fortitude and, above all, humility. Patch was always vociferous in his condemnation of war, all wars. But he understood friendship - more than anything, and he understood that the men who fell on both sides, predominantly very young, boys really, lost their lives in fruitless pursuit of victory in what history has erroneously termed 'the war to end all wars.' The futility of this was never lost on him and, despite living the long life he did, he never swayed from his opinion that the lives of his comrades, and of his German counterparts - whom he never failed to ask to be similarly remembered - was wasted on the battlefields of Europe. Harry Patch was a voice of conciliation, a man of and for peace - he was, in every way, the very definition of a true hero.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It was 43 years ago today...

Lenny Bruce passed away 43 years ago on Aug 3, 1966. Every comedian performing today owes him an incalculable debt - without him, stand up comedy would not exist - certainly in the myriad, occasionally unconscionable forms that it does today. The clip shown here, much like Bruce's own life, is very brief, and includes a truncated version of one of his most famous observations.

Thanks, Lenny.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

She was pretty...

Leanne Shapton
has followed up her 2006 debut novel 'Was she pretty?' with the equally engaging 'Important artifacts...' Shapton is renowned for the unprecedented nature of her work - in form and content it is quite unique. It chronicles the story of a relationship presented in the form of auction lots - each lot detailing a particular aspect of that relationship - from beginning to failed end. That the narrative so compellingly convinces - unusual in a work that takes as many stylistic chances as this one does - bears testimony to this most original of writers.