Madelein Peyroux, Joan As Police Woman, Lia Ices, Feist, Cat Power, Nicole Atkins, Marina & The Diamonds, Regina Spektor and anger meld together in my mind while I listen to this track and wish I was sitting in the corner of a den with soft, heavy headphones on and no one to disturb me.
Sweet Soul Music (live gigs & conceding to Ben Howard)
The last concert of 2011, Bon Iver, has sparked some kind of itch in me to see more and more and more bands play live. This year already I’ve been inside Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo, Shepherds Bush Empire, The Africa Centre, KOKO, Ally Pally, The Lexington, Hootananny Brixton and to Brighton following an eclectic list of artists.
I view the following as a collection, as people might collect buttons, spoons, or Harrods bags; The Maccabees, Friends, Band Of Skulls & The Black Keys, Ghost Poet with Alt-J & Gang Colours, SBTRKT, Melodica, Melody & Me, Bombay Bicycle Club with Lianne La Havas & Lucy Rose, The Antlers & Arthur Beatrice, and last Friday I got the pleasure of a very excitable Mystery Jets.
My next task is to get tickets for Ben Howard. Not because Every Kingdom is full of upbeat, radio-friendly hooks but because I’ve put it off, and now, unavoidably, a good handful of his songs, including a recent cover of Call Me Maybe, have got so far under my skin he’s left me emotionally raw and wanting to dig out my 8 year old, dusty, unloved guitar.
I finished the journalism degree course than Howard started in Cornwall and discovered he was self-recorded through word of mouth in our first year. Despite recognising his obvious musical abilities from his myspace page & watching him play pubs & the uni bar I hadn’t followed his progress aside from videoing his set at the first Beach Break Live ‘07 and casually introducing him to my Mum at OceanFest ‘09. Then, graduated and working in London in the summer of ‘11, it took me almost until the song finished to recognise Old Pine playing on Radio 1, and he was suddenly everywhere.
His is next in Paris this weekend for two shows, which I regret not finding out weeks ago. He had to add an extra night to his two London shows at the O2 Brixton Academy due to demand. All three are now sold out. I may have to wait until the next tour. Hopefully he will maintain his predisposition for smaller venues, and it may give us time enough to get back in contact & arrange to join him for post-show catch up…
Kindness, led by front man Adam Bainbridge, have already made quite an impact in online buzz-town. I’ve gushed a little about them last month on Twitter but they’re still relatively under-played. So when a friend of mine slipped this disco edit on in-between George Benson and Chic at a house party it took me a couple of seconds to recognise, but recognise it I did, with glee, and proceded to do as instructed “Get up, get down, Gee up, get down”!
See them next @ Field Day festival in Victoria Park, East London on June 2nd.
While racking my brains & the internet for the artist responsible for a treasured print of a fictional Italian cityscape that hangs on my bedroom wall I came across this print, which not only caught my eye for its graphic content but also reminded me of a particularly uncomfortable scene in an award winning Asian film I watched not too long ago, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, involving a fable whereby a princess is seduced by a catfish.
The image it is based on an Hokusai erotic woodcut known as both ‘Octopus and Shell Diver’ or ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’, first produced in 1814.
Although Rubens Cantuni was not on show at the London Art Fair his print would not have looked out of place amongst the over use of obtuse and unambiguous erotic themes in some of the artists work. I see something more shocking in the original Hokusai image and although Cantuni’s is obvious he has held back somewhat and it gives his image an immaturity that carries little or no eroticism at all. Similarly, this is what I found disappointing in a handful of works at the Art Fair.
“He’d gone back for the violin. It was waterlogged and fragile, and his grip on the neck made it cut into his palm. As he picked his way over the eggshells he drew all his weight into his upper body, trying desperately not to rock the boat. Her pitying look made his chest flush and throat burn; it wasn’t her fault, her expression said, wasn’t his either but certainly shouldn’t be on her shoulders to clear up this mess. He watched as she clambered onto the rocks now. Away from the little music man as the waves drew his vessel out to sea.”—Micro-Fiction Competition entry January, 2012
This film turned up unexpectedly as I don’t pay enough attention to my #LoveFilm rental list, so I sat down to it with pretty much no expectations. First thoughts, however, were that I was unsure about the split screen, and that I couldn’t get over how beautiful Helena Bonham Carter is throughout; at once womanly wise and girlishly demure.
Despite the obvious attraction of Aaron Eckhart’s physical-goldenness and his characters’ charm I couldn’t take my eyes off of the ‘woman’, with all her sadness, self assurance, and longing. Both play out all the believable awkwardness of a real-world relationship that, once you get invested, makes unsettling viewing as events take place and their consequences unravel.
Usually I have a pretty good nose for movie plots but the ambiguous dialogue, uncertainty of the split screen, and my general ignorance of the film meant I was kept guessing as to the extent of this couples connection, and thus was drawn right into their story.
I could watch this film over and over again, and wish it was based on a novel or to get my hands on the screenplay because the dialogue is impeccable; sharp, witty, humour laden and bittersweet. It’s a clever and intriguing snapshot of an evening where planned and unplanned events take place both expectedly and unexpectedly. I feel like it was a lesson in life to come, or an example of the inevitability of decisions made despite good intentions. A film of unlikely pairing but a totally believable relationship and I would highly recommend it.
I’ll be the first to admit that, as a good shiksa, I am inevitably attracted to cute, young Jewish men. David Macklovitch, aka Dave 1 from Chromeo, is one of those men. Intelligent and soft-spoken, Dave’s (still?) working on his PhD (in French Lit) from Columbia; but his adorable smile and…
My girlfriend told me she had been the victim of nature’s cruelest trick, that although born male she had always felt female. She said she had started dressing in women’s clothes at the age of seventeen, and three years later had undergone the necessary surgery. I was stunned, but told her that I loved her first and foremost as a person, and that I would give her all the emotional support she needed. She looked horrified. She had only been joking. She left me. She said she was going to find a real man, not some queer little gayboy like me.
Dan Rhodes: Anthropology (1997-8)
A note from Dan - Although he started it third and finished it second, this was Dan Rhodes’ first book to be published. It was written between October 1997 and November 1998, while he was working on Cherry Gardens Farm in Kent/Sussex border country. Rhodes would write the stories in his head while tying in rows of raspberries or picking gooseberries, often in the driving rain. Sometimes they would let him drive the tractor.
This man brightened an already glorious Saturday a couple of weeks back for me. The story above induced a giggling fit on the top deck of a London bus that kept deciding to change destination. It was given to me to read, on an iPhone, by the only person that truly knows when something will make me laugh, and I continue to love him for it.