|THE PILL BOX|
A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
talking of the glories of Brit Lit (hur hur), i meant to say to you M. - strange coincidence - I started reading that BS Johnson biography on Sunday, too ... (altho I've kinda stopped half way thru, finding him *far* less sympathetic than I expected to...
I'm not sure I understand the Hornbyland comment - altho at a stretch (ouch) the "back garden entrance" *could* be something to do with my strange De Sadean phantasies I suppose...
syd and acid - well, piper does actually set the experience down yes (and the reynolds idea that mdma music does the same thing - oh fuck off!). but isn't that what any good writer does? EM Forster for example. A great writer is what syd was. Meticulous recall.
I find it fairly key that the name Dennis Potter (who I would propose relates to BSJ much as Italy taking penalties relates to England taking penalties), does not occur once in the BSJ biog, but I'm going to address/clarify/muddy that issue on CoM at some stage next week.
About Hornbyland - it just occurred to me that if we take the why sit through new CDs when we could listen to Relics route to its logical conclusion (much as I'm in sympathy with that!) we might all indirectly end up in the same backyard of Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be/All Fields Round Here but with Syd B instead of Gram P.
Then yesterday teatime I was reminded of the Wire browser section in Ox Circ HMV with all its carefully-patrolled/fenced off sleeve designs at £16.99 a throw, and suddenly grew nostalgic for the days of finding Sun Ra Saturn cutouts for 49p a throw in the Barrowlands of my youth - i.e. for the scenario of DISCOVERING things for MYSELF, against which I am certain the Home Office are preparing laws.
i somewhat agree with marcello here -- the past is a good garden of remembrance maybe, a nice cool place to wander and clear your head -- but the present is where we ARE, and running away from its actual* terrain** is running away from changing this terrain
*ps did you see the ep of "waking the dead feat.trevor eve" with nigel terry as a jewish prog blues guitarist who was also a london gangland hitman (repeated from 2004 as it happens) -- i'm going to post abt it at the revamp freaky trigger in the next couple of days
**obv the unreclaimed part of the territory includes us here and blah blah, but isn't part of the problem w.bad girls "doing topical" that yr watching it on yr atomised own and actually need a gathering of like minds to reclaim "our" unsteamrollered perspective on it; to use it instead of wilt before it?
also: syd and nick d BOTH SUCK MASSIVELY -- i cannot be swayed here
i think i swapped discovering new things for myself for discovering new people for myself --- which makes me think that even back in the day the attraction of the things was the people that went with em (eg find fellow ornette fans CHECK; find fellow moomintroll readers-as-adults CHECK; find friends i could disagree with fruitfully CHECK)
what we probably wanly refer to as the "spectacle", william cobbett called THE THING (always in caps); and when he wanted to escape it he rode out of london on horseback till he reached somewhere, and discussed i. its soil; ii. what grew in that soil (he is obsessed with SWEDES!); the people doing the growing; how much they made and what the cost was --- but the key, i think, was the encounter with the people, the communicative exchange
maybe we should band together and buy a horse (i am allergic to them btw)
finally: re the "you must listen to/watch all this stuff" --- i totally don't get where this dutiful impulse comes from, let alone the worry attached to it --- gather it if you like (i am a hoarder same as the rest of you) but address it when it's YOUR TIME to address it, in the context of YOUR CHOOSING; there is no hurry --- you can tell all you need to know about [insert artist here] by listening to a SINGLE NOTE (haha provided you pick the right note and address it the right way) --- we should not let these phantoms possess us
my line on ILM was always "i never listen to any music -- it would only spoil my objectivity"
(ok three's the charm --- sorry for multi-posting, it's poor net etiquette i believe)
(um except to say -- it belatedly occurs to me that posting SYD SUCKS so shortly after his death is actually somewhat insensitive and graceless, so apologies to anyone i outraged -- i am NOT a fan of his music or his myth, but his lifestory is pitilessly sad, and certainly moves me; not least the thought of those he leaves behind, wounded, caring and overlooked)
i agree with a lot here and i could probably have headed off a bit of confusion if only i had put that line about a 'golden time we will never get back' in scare qotes ...as its not really (or not wholly) what i personally believe. it was more trying to encapsulate a mood being put about. i agree especially that Syd's life was more pain than it was glory, and have just posted to that effect.
whats that great quote from someone - to do with suicide i think - about it being the unnoticed sunday afternoons of life when things really tear you apart and real damage is done, or surrendered to. 2/3 of syd's life could be seen to eptiomise this - going crazy the english way, in a nice nothing special house in a nice nothing speical suburban street. thousands and thousands of days worth of "leftover time" after the all too brief glory flicker of the EUREKA moment...
re horses - i actually have a friend in the States who, whenever the depression gets too much, does just that... but maybe that's easier to do in New Mexico than N7. i go walking in wales these days, myself. (and one day i may well not come back to London.)
and re there being no complusion to 'keep up to date' - well, quite; in fact these days i tend to wait until hype & fuss has died down til i plunge into certain big cultural artefacts. (especially fils, but also only just got around to listening to kate's aerial, e.g., as it happens.)
Re Waking the Dead - I wonder if that two-parter was scripted by the same person who came up with the one which posited that the killings in Performance (in all but name) were real and the film was just an elaborate smokescreen (!!).... complete with guest appearence by Ken Russell playing the murky director (!!!)
it's not the same writer apparently but haha WOW!!! (i wonder if i can work this into my project to prove that performance is the secret sequel to if....)
the claire goose principle -- anything she's in is pointlessly unwatchable - CLEARLY NEEDS REVISING FAST
Completely agree with MS' "discovering PEOPLE to go with the music" thing (which is what CoM's "nowness" has always been about, in addition to remembering people; the magic non-coincidence of notes played or sung in a Denmark Street back alley or Detroit parking lot in 1969 becoming MY "now" and leading to an Actual Future (new love of my life, check...).
About Cobbett's Thing; notable how BSJ actually came alive whenever he left the hothouse of London, went to Wales or Hungary or Paris and found communicating with people easier and more natural - begs the question of why he didn't just pack up and move there, but then, picking up some of BSJ's own work again, the IMac spectre leers its unsuitable head again, i.e. the confusion of "MY pain" with "the world's in pain" and the inevitable ending to which such thinking always leads.
(i.e. right now I don't need Lily Allen or the Pipettes, but find that I need Atari Teenage Riot and Mary Hopkin...and isn't that what doubles their greatness, if only in my eyes?)
yes... that "IMac spectre" thing and BSJ's measuring of his own dysfunctions against wider errors and atrocity... it seems all the more obscene when the topic under review is a weighing or refusal of choice(s) in a choice heavy society. My pain is relative; the pain of someone who has just lost family, home, job and future in some bombed out shell in Lebanon, seems infinitely less relative. I actually find it *more* confusing, if anything, at times like today, when I feel pretty happy and upbeat, all things considered... I would even hazard the specualtion that I feel the Other's pain far more realistically and objectively at such times of contentment, than when I have my gloomy head up my half drugged ass.
IMac and BSJ seemed to share this unadvanced Teenager worldview, in whic everything is drawn in lines of black and whtie. Perhaps adulthood invovles acceptance of contradiction, acceptance that one *can* flit from outrage at geo political atrocities to ... enjoying Atari Teenage Riot, or the Emmerdale Omnibus... which s why all thsoe immediately post-9/11 pronouncements about 'No More Trivia For Me' smacked also, of the same self indulgent Goth-teen savour... as tho *your* micro cultural decision this morning has the same weight as world events. The response to which might best be - well, either shut up (and do a better job with sifting trivia) or go and work for Medecins Sans Frontieres...
(what would a Q- or MOJO- or Uncut-type improv hero be like I wonder?)Post a Comment
As someone who attends some of these nights (every now and then) I'll say that not every gig is recorded. In fact, quite a few improvisers don't even exist -- you'll see a few who come, play and they'll simply disappear -- at least it does appear like that. So there is something of a mystery to it all.
Another thing is if you see a great, amazing night and then get hold of its recording its useless. A *something* when that you feel you can never get back...