Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Twatbubble is keen to encourage healthy debate on the Arts and, here, are two contrasting opinions; click on the picture link for bookslut.com's opinion, of Martin Page's 2004 novel, 'How I became stupid.' As it says on the cover - and who can argue with La Vie magazine - 'How I...' is indeed an harmonious and surprising mixture of optimism and nihilism. The book is available from Amazon - try it and contend the contention - what if ignorance really is bliss...
Friday, March 27, 2009
The Bats were one of Flying Nun Record's best bands and it's wonderful to see this old 1985 clip of, unarguably, their finest moment. The Dunedin record label had a number of notable acts on its roster in the 1980's - The Clean and The Chills among them - but it is this song and this band that best exemplifies the labels timeless sound...
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Soon to be issued in the UK on DVD 'Gun Crazy' is the most memorable collaboration between Joseph H Lewis and Dalton Trumbo and is a must see for anyone interested in the harder end of Noir film. Trumbo was one of the Hollywood 10 - writers and artists who, along with many others, were blacklisted by the very organisations they helped to create - Trumbo, in fact, wrote the screenplay for the movie under a pseudonym while living in Mexico. Joseph H Lewis is rightly regarded for two classic Noir films - this film and 1955's 'The Big Combo.' 'Gun Crazy' contains all the trademarks of the classic Noir genre. It's influence was far and wide and can be most notably observed in Arthur Penn's 'Bonnie and Clyde.' On its own it's a wonderful film and features one of the best bank robbery scenes of the period.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The ArmyI'm not a fighter. I, ah, I have bad reflexes, and I can't fight. I was once run over by a car with a flat tire, being pushed by two guys. And I was not in the army, in case you were wondering. I was in the canine corps. Strange story, when I was young, I wanted a dog, and we had no money, we were very... my father at that time was a caddie at a miniature golf course in Brooklyn, y'know. I couldn't get a dog, 'cause it was too much, and they finally opened up in my neighbourhood, in Flatbush, a damaged pet shop. They sold damaged pets at discount, y'know, you could get a bent pussycat if you wanted, a straight camel, y'know. I got a dog that stuttered. When the cats would give him a hard time, he would go "B-b-b-b-bow wow", y'know. He'd turn all red, y'know. We wanted to send him into the army, but the papers got crossed up, and they got me instead of him. I was in the canine corps for two weeks. Me and eleven dogs was the outfit. Taught me how to heel. Sergent was a little mexican hairless, y'know. I was not in the regular army. I was classified '4P' by the draftboard, we went to war, I'm a hostage. ibras.dk is a marvellous site for Woody Allen fans. Although already established by this time (1964) as one of America's foremost comedy writers and performers, it's still wonderful to read some of his early work. Available from amazon.co.uk
Sunday, March 22, 2009
punk77.co.uk is a great site. The Cigarettes were that very rare thing - a genuine attempt to combine the sensibilities of a number of musical genres - mod, power pop, punk. Their music stands the test of any time and is currently available from detour-records.co.uk
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Shirley Jackson is rightly considered one of the greatest exponents of the short story/novel - her work, especially those stories concerned with the occult and paranormal, have exerted an influence far and wide - it is often cited by both Stephen King and Neil Gaiman (among others) as a major inspiration. 'We have always lived in the castle,' her last novel, contains one of the most mesmerising characters - Merricat Blackwood - in recent American fiction. Jackson, and the stories she penned, was quite unique. Initiates to her work should begin with her most celebrated story, 'The Lottery,' which can be readily downloaded from a number of free sites. classicshorts.com
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The closing sequence from Terence Davies' elegiac The Long Day Closes, which, after a seemingly interminable wait, was re-released at the end of 2008. Boasting a host of additional features this film is a must see for anyone who loves the movies; British cinema in particular. You will not be disappointed by this evocative, beautifully poetic hymn to childhood.
Monday, March 9, 2009
After being long out of print it is cause for no small celebration that Penguin have reissued John Christopher's seminal 'The death of grass.' With an introduction written by the novelist and columnist Robert MacFarlane, Christopher's prescient masterwork has echoes in Wyndham's 'The day of the triffids,' written some five years earlier. 'The death of grass,' is not a comfortable read - the questions it asks and the points it raises are peculiarly contemporary, particularly disquieting. It is an exploration of man's morality, inner strength, and his ability, individually and collectively, to triumph against seemingly insurmountable odds. Ultimately, there are cities to be built...
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Yo...New album just out from these mighty 90's popsters. Fuckbook is out at the end of March and can be ordered direct from matadorrecords.com So if you want to know what 'The kid with the replaceable head' sounds like then I ADVISE YOU TO CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED WEBSITE...
Book recommendations, recommendations of anything, can be difficult things to write - especially when the writer of such/reader is a fan. Most people would have only a very fleeting acquaintance with the work of Edward Wallant: film fans will perhaps be familiar with the Sydney Lumet picture based on Wallant's earlier novel 'The Pawnbroker.'
And this is the tragedy.
Edward Lewis Wallant is one of the genuinely great voices in twentieth century fiction; comparable to, in America at least, only Nathanael West - with whom he shares the same concerns and convictions. His most lasting legacy is this incomparable work of the highest art - partly allegorical, it follows the story of the younger brother of Irwin Moonbloom - the owner of a number of run down Manhattan apartment buildings. The book, using the most bewitching of prose styles, describes Norman Moonbloom's partially lived life as he collects rent/back monies from a collection of people society has chosen to forget and who, both individually and collectively, want to involve him in the remnants of their lives.
It is also one of the truly great American works of comedy fiction with echoes of Vonnegut, Dawn Powell and John Kennedy Toole. Enrich your life and read this book of books.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
A quick tour of Wikipedia will provide a brief introduction to the incontestable originality that was The Cramps. If you have never heard of them or their music then there are a number of albums to choose from - the music they made was truly unique. What made them more so was their collective ability to perform every song as if was their last. Or your last. Their music harks back to an earlier time - 50's Rockabilly, Surf music of the very late 1950's/early 1960's and Garage Rock popular in North America from the early to late 1960's. The Cramps took these disparate musical influences and, crucially, without descending into pastiche or impression, created something new and exciting, visually and viscerally threatening. The results were, and always will be, inspirational.
nameneko.com is a great website. As well as the cats, their creator, Satoru Tsuda, is also directly responsible for Magnanimous Boy, Kan Kan Tomato Club and, crucially, Heysey Tempura Brothers. The viewing of this site should be mandatory for all so WATCH IT...