Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To the man who saw the angel

The 23rd of May sees, for the first time, a comprehensive DVD release of Andrei Tarkovsky's films. In December, it will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of his untimely death - if you haven't seen his films, do yourself a favour and invest in the collective works of one of cinema's true geniuses...

Artificial Eye

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

little girls should be seen and very definitely heard...

With the sad news of Poly Styrene's early passing it's important to note her not insignificant contribution to punk music - both Poly and Ari Up challenged the many staid and static musical conventions of the 1970's with their attitude, their enthusiasm and, don't ever forget this, their talent.

X-Ray Spex first album, 'Germ Free Adolescents,' is a small classic, packed full of great tunes, enormous amounts of reverberated sass and a keen understanding of what it was like to be part of a disenfranchised underclass - Poly was all three things the overwhelmingly white, male and middle class music establishment was not and could (and would) never be.

We will not forget her or her music. In some small unobtrusive corner of our hearts, today, will always be Day-Glo.

Thanks, Poly.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

'We never asked for miracles...'

Today is 'record stores day.' What strated out as a bit of fun has metamorphosed into something not entirely unimportant - a way of celebrating music and music emporiums. Emporia. Doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is that small and slightly larger, independent and independently minded record stores are given a platform to say, 'hey, we're still here, how are you today? Buy some records.'

And so we should.

Mono Records
Avalanche Records
Rubadub Records
Volcanic Tongue Records
MixedUp Records
BlackVinyl Records

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank Christ the 1981 Show...

Stewart Lee is curating a show aimed at capturing the spirit of the early years of alternative comedy. At Last the 1981 Show will feature Arthur Smith, Norman Lovett, Nigel Planer and Chris Lynam - South Bank Centre, 29 May 2011

And Arnold Brown....

And here he is!

And more. Probably.

Also, the second series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle has been given a BBC2 slot on Wednesdays at 11.20pm, starting May 4.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Houses on the Hill..

Edward Docx's deranged characters in fiction

This is a nice article written by Edward Docx (writer of 'The Calligrapher') in The Guradian.

I suspect many would agree with the characters Docx has chosen as his favourites - they're all wonderful examples. Any of the three marvellous novels written by the late, greatest Edward Wallant feature protagonists whose own descent into madness accompanies an equally strong desire to save others from their own, 'fate worse than life.'

And, of course, there's Robert Wringhim........................

Colin McLaren's adaptation of Gogol's 'Diary of a Madman.'
'Part 2'
'Part 3'

the wonderful Skip Spence - himself tortured/equally inspired by his own personal demons...

Monday, April 4, 2011

This might be a party, this is a DISCO!

Forget all about 'The Last Waltz,' or 'Gimme Shelter,' or even the '68 Comeback Special,' Jonathan Demme's marvellous 1984 concert movie featuring Talking Heads', 'Stop Making Sense,' is the finest example of the genre - saving of course a certain 1978 grainy recording of a certain bands performance at a certain state mental hospital...

That aside, 'Stop Making Sense,' is concert biographies, and David Byrne's, finest moment. Forget all about the big suit, the bigger suit and the suit that's three sizes too big, the songs, the energy of the performances, the way the whole thing comes enticingly, deliciously together - it's the perfect example of three unforgettable, unassailable nights, sussed images and beyond magical music blended seamlessly together by Demme, cinemtaographer, Jordan Cronenweth and the band, playing more magnificently than they've ever done.

It may be twenty years ago but it seems like never before...