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{Sunday}

 
THIS WEEK IN THE PILL BOX

Subjects marked * may be expanded upon, if not now, then in some later post: {i.s.l.p.


DELIRE

· Robert Frank
· The Sopranos
· John Betjeman
· GK Chesterton* {* i.s.l.p.
· Powell/Pressburger’s airy, gnostic-lite A Canterbury Tale [BBC2, Thurs]
· Alberto Manguel* {* Into The Looking Glass Wood Bloomsbury, 1999

· Carol Cooper archive on ROCK'S BACK PAGES* {*worth the subscription fee alone, I’d say. But then I would, me with my swanky Writer's Free Pass. And maybe also worth it just a litle bit can I say to see my Tricky subject line – the Phantoms of TRICKNOLOGY vs a Politics of AUTHENTICITY - pop up before one's disbelieving eyes. But then I would. Say that. Seriously, though, Carol Cooper on: Rasta, Prince, Darnell, dance music and more = … priceless. I’d waited a l-o-n-g time to read that Darnell piece again and (this doesn’t happen often) it was BETTER than I remembered it.

· flight of the curlew
· William Blake
· Adolf Wolfli* {* I.S.L.P.
· return of Bremner Bird Fortune

· the lil’ All-Black Cat, feral and deliriously playfully happy with it, who comes zooming out to play with me on the road between the Pill Box and the Local Shop where I’ve bought my scrumptious Limited Edition MARS Midnight Bar every day this past week {... and where, don’t worry, two lovely old Irene Papas type ladies I also talk to feed the lil’ a.b.c. and his extended family who live under the cars. I’ve said ‘Hey! Hi!’ to a fox in this street, too, in broad daylight. And raced a squirrel. And there is the LOVELIEST birdsong going on at the moment. It really is SO quiet of an evening ... SO quiet indeed I had this passing suspicion last week, like, I wonder if it’s controlled by some weird arcane Turkish Costra Nostra type deal, like, the Big Pussy Bompansero looking guy I buy my Marlboro Lites & Mars Midnights off, he’d fit the bill, and he owns half of 7 Sisters I think, but we get on lovely, I even know where he goes on his hols… That enough Old Skool Blog for ya, homepawz?}

· Alien [C4, 11.5.03] Boy does it ever stand up as an allegory about human heart, feminine guile & paw power (go, Jonesy!) against conscience-free science in the “pure” service of American imperialistic weapons research! I’d quite forgotten that the might of the ALIEN-ation process is stopped by one rIPley and a cat!

· Anthony Quinn. [Living Famously, BBC2, 2.10 pm, 17.5.03] Mars & Mary Magdalene on a speed date (!) but I didn’t know he was THAT good an artist: a really good, proper old-skool painter & sculptor. Restless, funny, fiery, fundamental. Cool. Never mind the 35 different kids by 43 different women or whatever it was. (“Did you say. . . DANCE?!”) A voracious reader, too, apparently. Man alive.


DAMN FINE CORYBANTES!

Leonard Cohen: "Closing Time"
M. Ward: "a voice at the end of the line"
Lucinda Williams: "Lonely Girls"
K.O.T.: The Remixes
Main Street Records: Round One 2 Round Five 1993-99
McKay* {*see below. . .


DOLENTE . . . DOLORE!

· the truth behind the ‘Jessica Lynch’ story {* I.S.L.P.

· the “truth” behind the New York Times Fakin’ It story. Altho, if I were a certain liberal broadsheet who’d just run a long and maybe not for the first time slightly prissy lead G2 story cf. Press “ethics” in re that US-ay? fake-reporter story well, I think I’d be a little less prissy when SOME of us could tell stories about how they themselves the GUARDIAN went all HUSH HUSH and uncharacteristically coy when PLAGIARISM cropped up on their OWN watch, ACTUAL - BAD - PLAGIARISM, and not ONCE but TWICE, even (remember, Si?) THREE TIMEs, OH YES, and yes OK they published a nook-tucked apology and reached a piddly settlement with the injured freelance, B-U-T when readers wrote in by the score, and other journalists, outraged at the fact that this Guardian journalist had committed the gravest hack sin there is but wasn’t sacked LIKE SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO QUESTIONS INSTANTLY LIKE IN AMERICA they didn’t even publish a single ONE of those letters, oh no, w-e-l-l, I'd say that’s an interesting story, mmm. . .{* I.S.L.P., def

· Jools Holland,
· Later With Jools Holland,
· all Jools Holland’s unfunny comic mates & hack pals & monosyllabic pissed-up guests
· Lou Reed,
· Lou Reed’s tai chi mate doing tai chi during "A Perfect Day", and who was that Maris-Piper-looking bloke who took a verse of "Perfect Day" and but then sounded like an unholy cross between Elmer Fudd and Graham Norton? And that thing Lou was doing – was he under the impression that was SINGING? Lawks amighty, pawkids! How the flighty have broken!
· The Vines
· The Vines a second
· and a third time. . .
· and most of all that spoiled child posing as a fifth form Iggy Pop, thet PRAT, that FAKE, that (somebody give him a good SLAP) little twit "singer" in The Vines, I mean, don’t people BOO anymore? Did we go thru Dada, Surrealism, Acephale, Situationism, the Motherfuckers, the Beats, Burroughs, Punk to end up with. . .The Good Old Days with Jools Holland?
· Ladysniff Black Mmblahblah {oooh sorry, I'd better check with The Observer real "roots mon" music dept see if you're allowed to SAY this lot’re TEDIOUS beyond endurance and HAMMY beyond Dickinson and about as ‘authentic’ as their matching white plimmies. . .

· R.Kelly as "lyricist"
· that EVIAN advert where an already accursedly annoying Queen ‘classic’ is “sung” by some Cute Tot and this is morphed into the mouths of vrs adults. I have to switch the sound off IMMEDIATELY, but IMMEDIATELY, all the while repeat-yelling NO!NO!NO!NO!NO! STOP STOP STOP STOP.

· who cares if the Cambridge Spies series [BBC2, 9.00 pm, Fridays] is True or False or some sticky melange of the 2, when it’s just SO badly clumsily charmlessly witlessly gormlessly written? (I.e. Doesn’t belong on the same channel as Alan Bennett.) Viz, this little exchange {to be said in worst RADA clipped aristo vox}: ‘You care deeply, don’t you, about fighting fascism?’ ‘It’s what I live for.' Oh – come ON! If you can’t get how people ACTUALLY talk/ed, you could at least have the decency to fill in the speech bubbles with something provocative or funny. Even SJ Perelman at the height of his satirical powers would’ve shelved those lines as too TOO preposterous. Over yonda lie the wooden props of my syntax…

· Madonna deigning to pro-mo gig at HMV [in suport of her DUD new cd] being deemed newsworthy for 6 o clock reports on both BBC1 and ITV at the same time! {CLICK … surf BBC1 CLICK … surf … ITV: yes, AT THE SAME TIME!}

· The Vines. . .and Kings of Leon 2, w/ thr suspicously jest-2-perfect retro fringes and stoner t shirts (and, erm … Daffy Duck voices?), but esp The Vines, who AREN'T as Jools Holland would have it a "Marvellous! Exquisite display of rock and roll!" and affirmatively death-croak dangerous as Lou Reed would have it, but, you know what he reminds me of?, that self-fixated bad-actor little creep-wad?, he’s like some little 6 yr old (the type who screams in supermarkets until EVERYBODY is looking at him) who his poor harassed Mummy has to keep telling him NOT to take his shoes off like that, you’ll spoil the backs if you don’t untie the laces first, and we can't afford new ones, not now your Dad’s…, but HE KEEPS ON DOING IT ANYWAY, deliberately, brattily, huffily, NUH nuh. No?


(not DIRE or DAMNABLE, just, well) DULL

· Goldfrapp {like, how can you sound – and look - simultaneously like ‘everything but the electro/psycho-delic/glam KITCHEN SINK' that’s kitten-heel'd hip and trendy at the moment, but still as FLAT as a half hearted Valentine card from a creepy blue boor? Like, you can TRY and TRY and TRY, girl, but if you’re not a tenth as naturally charismatic and chill-princess and carnal-blooz as Polly Jane Harvey by now, you’re probably never going to be, mmm, OK? I mean: ‘Album of the Week’ in the Observer AND the Guardian? How damning is that?! That’s like “mmm, interesting, yes” times ten, isn’t it?


I’M A DESIRING MACHINE, TOO

· McKay!
· McKay!
· McKay!
· Kirstie Allsopp [C4, Weds, 8.00.]
· Drew Barrymore [Never Been Kissed, ITV1, 10.00, 17.5.03]
· Shell Dockley [ITV1, Thurs, 9.00]
· Asia Argento [in your dreams, mate]
· BAD Willow, VERY BAD Willow, w-uuu-oooh-yes... [BBC2, 6.45, 15.5.03]

· did I mention McKay*? {*BBC2, 11.35, 16.5.03. A tru voice, like, as in Linda Jones good god almighty singing ‘Hypnotised’ to you at 2.33 or 3.10 in the a.m. in a small smokey club in 1974 or 2000 and - where am I? who is this I'm dancing with? I don’t care … I’m in love! - a tru gift, great dance to The Liquidator 2, & gosh but the most otherworldly beautiful eyes since Warren Oates maybe I think… and NO-body has made me look up, gasp, gape and shiv-v-v-er like that since the time, also a Friday I 'member correctly, 4 in the mourning, bombed, but this VOICE came out of video-clip nowhere, and it waz Lauryn Hill singing “Send me… an angel… in the morning, daaar-LIN'..” and I swear, I SWEAR, I spontaneously sobbed gulped & TEARed up, right there and then, swaying open mouthed & hurt-throat on the couch, even thru my then habitual 15 layers of heavy anaesthetics & 8.9% cider & Smirnoff Blu & immovable ballast of ice-pack kynicism. . . oh, my.


DESPERATE just DESPERATE, like, TERMINAL?

· Ali G* {* oh, don’t get me STARTED on this one I.S.L.P.
· Boys & Girls* {* like, this is the sort of stuff that smart smug media people like snug C4 execs used to snigger helplessly at when it was on SKY or Live TV but a few years back ... And now here it is, eating up budget like a Born Again Christian's war. And “IRONY” is NO more. Look. See. It’s… it’s just… just a grinning oaf, see, he’s in a shiny suit. And it’s 1973. C’est ca.

BLIPVERT!} Do you know, ITV play a very nice kinda Wyndham Hill meets Jimmy Page on a Welsh hillock circa '73 with his black Gibson acoustic open-tuned to 'C' type ambient medievale at 5.18 in the a.m.? Thanks, guys! Anyway, back to the Current Affairs. . .
We return to DESPERATE just DESPERATE, like, TERMINAL?

· on sale now {THE BEST REVIEWS BY THE BEST WRITERS} this month’s WORD magazine: an ‘in depth’ Q&A with cover star Morrissey; a David Hepworth ‘exclusive’ with (- whoo-hah! can’t wait! you’ll NEVER guess who David Hepworth is writing about, no, really, you’ll not get it in a million years! -) Bruce Springsteen! (yes! Da Boss, Bruuucey, but howdidyaguess?); David Gray; James Taylor; Chrissie Hynde; and ‘the strange tale of Benny Hill’. I mean, you know, don’t the words ‘A 13 YEAR OLD COPY OF Q’ come to mind here? {*see below

· Jools Holland as "interviewer"* {*see below
· did I mention The Vines?
· dying seconds of the Game! 4:00 am, ITV1: The White Stripes on ITV At The Festivals. Sheesh! They don't get any better, these two, do they? Mind you, Mercury Rev are now on [4.11 am] and even they sound dodgy, flat & ragged. I just don't think I'm ever going to GET the notion of Festivals. Why would you want to see ANYONE, never mind crepuscular bands like these, in the middle of a big field, in broad DAYLIGHT? Never mind be charged the earth for it? And sleep in a. . .a tent? Nope, don't get it. . .


DECISION DEFERRED
· Monk [BBC2, Sat afternoons, vrs times]


WORD UP

· WORD advert : “NEW! Something to READ!”. Yeah, right.

I just got a great 2nd hand bargain copy of the audaciously chillingly brilliant Auto Da Fe; yesterday, the latest LRB turned up with a lead article by Slavoj Zizek on the future shock ethics of bio-genetics; and why just today alone I added to my MUST READ PILE books on Primo Levi, The Botany of Desire, The Sopranos, California’s Unsettling Fate and a study of ‘Why Companies Lied and the Stock Market Crashed’ yeah, right?
… And no but, you see, I’m gonna put all that ALL THAT aside, sweep it ALL to one side, because I’m a READER, me, see, so I’ll make REAL reading time for a Morrissey Q & A and David Hepword’s annual B.S. on Bullmoose Springsteen.
Right. Yeah. Glad we got that clear, then.


QUOTE OF THE MILLENNIUM, WITH A BULLET

“I have drunk deep from the same well of ideas as Ronald Reagan.”
stet: Margaret Thatcher, {anti-pro-Europe} speech in New York this week.


AMAZINGLY SURREAL ANSWERS FROM REMARKABLY STUPID PEOPLE TO AMAZINGLY SIMPLE Q/s WHICH EVEN IF THEY GET THEM RIGHT WOULD YOU GO THROUGH ALL THAT FOR A MEASLY £1105? (ESPECIALLY WHEN OVER ON RICHARD & JUDY YOU CAN GET 8-GRAND FOR ANSWERING Q/s LIKE ‘NAME THE FIVE THINGS AT THE OTHER END OF YOUR FOOT FROM YOUR HEEL!’

THE WEAKEST LINK [BBC2, 5.50 PM, pre-Simpsons, forget which day]:

A.D.: ‘In 'media': which creature was the symbol for Pathe newsreels?’
Dim Boy: ‘Can you repeat the question. . .?’
A.D.: ‘In 'media': which creature was the symbol for Pathe newsreels?’
D.B.: ‘A ladybird?’

Is It Just Me, or are you getting the ever so slightly disturbing image I am, here?


BUFFY THRU THE CONTACT LENS

Willow? that thing with the big red cosmic rage wolf eyes?
I get that! I do!
E.g.:
Two words: Jools Holland.
Three and a bit words: Craig David feat. Sting.
One word: Bono.

In fact this shoud probably be Filed Under DESPERATE, but did you see him, Bono, on THE WHISTLE TEST YEARS [BBC2, 11.50 pm, 15.5.03]?

Trying to SKIP and look sternly PROPHETIC and but in the middle of this why-oh-why fists-clenched performance, 1981 Bono thinks = Urgent Passion, our elfin little lost-in-music St Augustine is still too naif/naff to know the camera sees everything, and so WE see what the camera saw, which is Bono – in mid passionate skip - anxiously trying to adjust his poor wee crap sub-NEXT black polo neck for maximum rock n roll effect without anyone seeing at the same time. . .
Ah, those truly were the days.


AMAZINGLY PRESCIENT QUESTIONS TO SUSPICIOUSLY WALNUT-LOOKING SENIOR ROCK N ROLL ANIMALS WITH NO KNOWN ANSWERS THAT DON’T MAKE BOTH OF THEM LOOK + SOUND LIKE COMPLETE PRANNETS, BUT

Yes: Jools Holland digs for the A/s to the Q/s The Public Demands To Know.

1) “… probably then… the question is… “New York City Man”. Do you live in New York then? Is that your home?”
No, he really really DID say this. It’s all here. Word for word. Down here in my Reporters shorthand n/b. (Well I have to justify putting myself thru this torture somehow.)
2) “What do you do? […] Are you inspired by writers and poetry and that sort of thing?” [STET. Ditto.]
3) “What was the ‘perfect day’ in question?"
[He can’t be THAT thick. No one is that thick. Even a jobbing rock musician. But n-o-oh… he is.]

And there are variants, such as this 'Judith Chalmers in a too too tight black spivvy suit' one to the studiedly monosyllabic Kings of Leon:
“How would you describe Memphis, to the casual person, who hasn’t visited?’

CUT TO: vintage archive clip of Lou ‘Chi Whiz’ Reed doing a version of ‘Waiting For My Man’ which sounds uncannily like Chas n Dave Sing the Velvet Underground. Like: ‘I’m Waiting For This Nag I Backed at 10/1 To Come In and It’s Already 10 to 3 huh huh huh..’

(My ‘LATER’ Notes end here. ‘Los… los… losing… LOST WILL TO LIVE.’)


com.POST: ian.pen@which.net



posted by Ian 5/18/2003 04:08:00 AM

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