Friday, July 30, 2004

Derek Bailey, wine, hip replacements and death

Derek Bailey, Min Tanaka, crickets and cicadas, Mountain Stage (Incus Video II, 1993)

Do you ever get the feeling you've witnessed something really special and especially unexpected?  I did on Tuesday evening at PRAT's at the long awaited Baileyfest - it was an evening that reminded me of just how invigorating I find sitting with friends, listening to music together, talking about crazy music, watching videos, drinking wine and discussing hip replacements and death. 

I watched improvisational guitarist Derek Bailey knock about on his acoustic guitar on a small wooden stage with Min Tanaka, revered Japanese butoh dancer moving spasmodically and freely on a lush green mountain at Hakushu Art Camp in Japan.  They were accompanied by very loud cicadas, crickets and the occasional wail from a child, which became part of the experience.  It was absolutely mesmorising.  I was transfixed by both Bailey's sounds and Tanaka's movements in that environment.  What a video!!!

Of course there is the fear (on the part of the people I live with) that horribly tuneless music will become my new love...  Who knows, lately I keep playing that Jandek album and I still haven't quite figured out why I am so compelled to replay it.  Be afraid!  The Baileyfest was brilliant.  Love and thanks to PRAT and A for looking after us so well and providing the 'tunes' and the superb company.

Other links:
D.E.A.F. : w e b
The world of butoh dancing
Min Tanaka
Derek Bailey

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Brighton Vox hit the streets

Accompanied by the sweet smell of rotting rubbish, large seagulls flying and screeching above, a chip shop, two drunken vagrants clutching cans of Special Brew, a man with a video camera, a geezer who offered us some recording time ("You'd like that, wouldn't you, eh?  C'mon, let me hear you all say 'Yes'..." whilst gesturing with his hand behind his ear), Brighton Vox sang their community choir style tunes out on the street.  Which was nice.

Friday, July 23, 2004

McDermott's Two Hours, Komedia, Brighton, Thursday 22 July

Brilliant brilliant gig.  Worth shrieking "More! More! More!" at the end.  Some very dark lyrics, good vocal harmonies (though the backing level could have been raised a little), Nick Burbridge is a genius.  Ben Paley always makes playing the violin look so seamlessly easy - such a virtuosic player.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Team Jandek

Team Jandek rules! Posted by Hello

Indeed an historic moment today winning the local pub quiz as Team Jandek with V and A. J joined us in the final round, greeting us with a wide-eyed look of surprise as we told her we had been in the lead since round two. I am still in shock myself.

Who is JANDEK? He has been described as "Jeff Buckley having lost the ability to play guitar and sing" or "Jeff Buckley post stroke" after having heard 'Living in a moon so blue' (1982). We love him!

A guide to Jandek

Jandek on Corwood (documentary film)
Worth seeing the trailer if you can't get to a screening...

The Corwood Industries Unofficial homepage

Katy Vine, 'Jandek and Me'

Irwin Chusid, 'Jandek: the great disconnect'

Douglas Wolk, 'Mystery man: the Jandek story'

God bless DEAF PRAT for the music.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Five to Eleven: the discoveries

Steven Pacey presenting Five to Eleven c1988 Posted by Hello

Well, I wasn't wrong.  Five to Eleven, as I remember it, was a late morning show from the late 1980s (on at, erm, five to eleven) with gentle pipe music accompanying the opening credits and some garden-type images.  I just couldn't remember what it was about.  Everyone I have asked has said, 'Huh??' when I have asked them if they had heard of it, and left me feeling a bit like I imagined the whole thing.  
Well, God bless the power of Google:  
Five to eleven was definitely on in 1988:  
It was apparently, as TV Cream describes it, a programme with B-list celebrities reading poems and short stories:  
Epilogue-type effort, but with the added novelty of being broadcast in the middle of the morning. Out-of-work thespian types, usually JOSS ACKLAND, read poems and short stories in sonorous tones.  
Joanna Lumley was guest presenter during Easter week 1987:  
Also Kenneth Branagh in the same year:  
Very Famous Person Steven Pacey (he played Del Tarrant in Blake's 7 )

And folkie Jancis Harvey:
And on my google-travels I also came across this:  
You learn new things every day in Googleland!  It makes you feel less mad and alone in the world.... sniifffffff!      
P.S. Also check this out:
One of the best and funniest websites I have seen for ages. 
Check out the 'Solar Virals'. Cheers Z for pointing me towards this!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Extraordinary Diaries of Over 10,000 Pages Made Public For First Time

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Profound connections

On Wednesday it poured with rain and I left the house that evening in a rush to get to choir rehearsal. I pulled on the shoes I had neglected to clean after last Thursday evening's back-splash from J's vomit as it bounced off the road. I figured they would clean themselves in the rain.

When I arrived, I looked down at my feet and was feeling mildly aware of the fact that the Vomit Splash hadn't washed off and was rather apparent in the bright lights of the basement of the B Centre where we were gathered. I was swiftly joined by fellow alto E. She sat next to me, took her shoes and socks off, and bizarrely started to rub her face and neck with her less than clean looking socks. It was a less than pleasant vision but I wasn't even mildly repulsed. She stretched out her white top revealing a reddish stain, turned to me and said,

"Look, I'm such a div, I spilled my dinner down my front..."

I smiled back and replied, pointing to my feet, "Oh, that's lovely. I've got dinner on my shoes - see? It's from last week - not my dinner, but my friend's, after she ate it..."

It's always so heart warming to discover one has experiences in common with other people. It connects you so profoundly. Siigh!

"I've got dinner on my shoes - see?" Posted by Hello

Recent films:
Storytelling outrageously politically incorrect and funny opening sequence; shame it promises so much but delivers less. Great Belle and Sebastian soundtrack, though.
eXistenZ Yep. Typically David Cronenberg in its 'throw-some-grabby-sex-in-there-as-always' methods. Interesting but obvious questioning what-is-reality/are-we-in-a-computer-game plot.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban soooo disappointing! I couldn't believe I thought about the grocery shopping at least twice during that film.
The Barbarian Invasions I suspect I might have benefited from seeing Denys Arcand's The Decline of the American Empire before seeing this, as I thought the film as a whole was a little 'flat' and I found it very difficult to stay engaged with it. I wonder whether this one will sink in during the coming days and I'll suddenly come to some understanding of it next week as sometimes happens.
Shrek II Brill.
One Night Stand Love that Nina Simone track at the end - 'Exactly like you'
Mean Girls This film is really really funny - -

Quakers, Dave Allen, Damien Thorn and Potato Products

Spent late morning and lunchtime over at the hospital talking to patients and gathering requests for the 1pm show on Coastway Hospital Radio. And not a Cliff Richard request in sight!

After lunch I wandered into town to find a birthday present for M, whilst trying to restrain myself from buying things for myself. I did rather well, considering...

After spending a short time at the very friendly annual fair that I had come across at the local Quaker Meeting House, I left armed with a fluorescent strip (for cycling), a Dave Allen video (how appropriately anti-Catholic!) for D & M, my belly happily filled with carrot cake and tea, and my purse a mere £2.50 lighter. Bargain.

I love community gatherings. Especially when they involve homemade cake. Posted by Hello

I ended up buying a John Martyn album I have long desired but never got round to getting ('Bless the Weather') at Essential Music (excellent independent record shop), and Donnie Darko on DVD. I found The Omen Trilogy special 25th anniversary DVD box set for M and thought it quite amusing that I was having a day of Quakers, Dave Allen and Damien Thorn. After my spending spree I thought it only appropriate that I buy my groceries from Iceland. The potato product section is vast.

Is there a potato product that one couldn't love?? Posted by Hello

A house trip to Asda doubled my grocery shopping dose for the day (ugh!) and following a couple of glasses of wine with the housemates I flopped out exhausted and watched DVDs for the rest of the evening, waking up at 3am with my glasses still on and the computer still running... Ah! Sleepy Saturdays at home. Wonderful.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Albums this week

Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Chris Forsyth, Left and Right (sorry, DP - I just couldn't get into this one... it hurt!)
Better reviews:
Be Good Tanyas, Blue Horse
Zero 7, When it Falls and Simple Things (double cheers to The Googler for these)
Layo and Bushwacka!, Night Works (here's a review - specially googled!)
Becoming a Canuck Vols I and II (thanks to the femme once again and jizz for the mp3s)

Very brief but good Serge Gainsbourg/Jacques Brel exchange with boy in Video shop today. He Knows.

This is Adam's cat Monster. He just Won't keep still!! The local cat Marmelade/Ginger, a living spit of Monster, has been terrorising both Tiggy and Monster lately singlehandedly. It's one against two - and yet Marmelade still persists! I am particularly impressed by his ingenuity: stealthily getting in the top bathroom window into our house just to come and eat M & T's food and look for a fight. Rather admirable boldness, methinks! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


The Pedometer... sounds like a lotta lotta fun to me!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This is my mate Andrew Paul Barrett. He works with flies. Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Me and Lil the night before the race... I hide fear well. Posted by Hello

Coastway Hospital Radio
The Request Show

Saturday 3rd July 2004 1 – 2pm
Presented by Peter Bailey, Jamie, Peter, Sandra

Cliff Richard, Millennium Prayer
Matt Monro, Softly as I Leave
New Symphony Orchestra, Greensleeves
Westlife, Uptown Girl
Diana Krall, Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake
Robbie Williams, Angels
Roxette, It must have been love
Vivaldi, Spring (from The Four Seasons)
Tony Bennett, I left my heart in San Francisco
Dionne Warwick, Walk on By
Michael Jackson, You are not alone
Anne Shelton, I’ll be seeing you
Cliff Richard, Living Doll

Friday, July 02, 2004

Why? Posted by Hello


Ben Watson reading from 'Denis Bales and the story of Flea Improvisation' accompanied by Simon H Fell on bass, Ray's Jazz Shop, 1 July 2004 Posted by Hello

Very surreal. On behalf of DP who has just had an op on his gammy knee, I went to the launch of the latest biography of Derek Bailey, experimental septuagenarian guitarist. Ben Watson jumped onto a chair and read from a pretend book by Watson's punk/poet alter ego Out To Lunch, Denis Bales and the Story of Flea Improvisation, whilst accompanied by Simon H Fell on bass violin, violently bowing with two bows, sliding across a small cymbal held across the bridge... Noisy. Experimental. A bit mental. I was pleased to leave and meet J et al for Canada day celebrations (also noisy, experimental, a bit mental).

Canada Day celebrations at the Maple Leaf, Covent Garden, London (photo by M.M.)Posted by Hello

Edward Hopper, Tate Modern
Some brief thoughts...
Edward Hopper's paintings highlight the power of loneliness. His work is surprisingly 'flat' - shape, form, light, shadow, colours are more important than human expression, perspective, proportion. Isolated figures are placed somewhere inbetween the foreground and background - they purposely become part of the architecture. Even where there is more than one figure in a painting, the sense of dissatisfied longing is so strong you just want to scream at the canvas, "Just talk to each other, will you??!!!". And yet the screaming is useless: Hopper has sufficiently distanced the protagonists from the viewer's gaze so that interaction between the viewer and the viewed is impossible. They look away, downwards, outwards, out and away in (empty?) private thought. In Cape Cod Evening (1939), even the dog doesn't want to play with the empty people, and instead looks off into the distance.

Favourite overheard:
Young couple walk towards Nighthawks. Male says to female in disgusted astonishment, "So, you honestly don't know that image???". The relationship is set for certain doom...