Sunday, 30 June 2013

the rolling stones at glastonbury festival and the strypes

No doubt there will be much discussion around the country today about The Rolling Stones' appearance at Glastonbury Festival yesterday, so here's my view.
They delivered what was expected of them. A collection of their mostly well known songs with a lot of prancing about (resulting in some poor singing), with some shoddy playing and posing thrown in for good measure. Mick Jagger tries to please everyone with his cockernee geezer accent and desperation to show how he can still move about at his ripe old age of nearly 70, and Keef is more concerned with looking cool and iconic, rather than bashing out some memorable tunes.  It was good to see Mick Taylor up with them, sharing some of the plaudits and glory, and Keith Richards looking as though he is going to end up emulating Taylor in the lifestyle choices nowadays, rather than the other way round (healthy eating wise).
Some songs sounded decent, some (2,000 Light Years From home), were atrocious.
Nowadays, half of the attraction of seeing The Stones is the fact that they are an institution.  Wizened old legends, creakily stepping down from their personal Mount Olympus' to entertain the common folk, who may never get the chance to see them again. Supposedly their rehearsals for the tour came in at a million of your English pounds and pence, but they still play like a sloppy, pissed up bar band playing the songs for the first time.
On the other hand, this could also be commended, as they don't try to be ultra professional, and are more bothered about the audience going away happy after an entertaining spectacle rather than pleasing the TV viewers at home, and that is certainly how it came across yesterday. They were much better than they could have been, it's normally a great day out, and rather like some football matches, the build up and anticipation (plus the all day drinking with mates or partners) is most of the fun.  The match/concert at the end is something that will hopefully prove to be worthwhile and pleasurable, but a good day out can still be had if it is not.
If you really want to recapture the early bluesy Stones, go and see some young bands who still have it all to prove, not some old gits looking after their retirement funds.

I've got high hopes for The Strypes.  At the moment, they can't get near what the Stones were like in their heyday, but they have a long, long time ahead of them to have a decent pop at it. If they end up half as good, that would still be an achievement worth aspiring to.

The Stones - remember them this way.  Gimme Shelter on Pop Goes The Sixties

The young pretenders - The Strypes with Blue Collar Jane on The Late Late Show.

toodle pip

calexico at glastonbury festival

Watching some of the Glastonbury Festival highlights yesterday, l was disappointed to see how few people were there to see Calexico.  There may well have been something else on at the same time that took would be fans away, but it must still be frustrating for them playing to so few at such a large festival, after all the work they have put in over the years.
My own view is that they would be a bigger band if they stuck to more of their up tempo tunes, therefore creating a raucous live atmosphere.  On the other hand, part of the reason l like them because of the sometimes haunting mood that they put across.  They seem to be sticking to playing whatever takes their fancy, and if that leads to success or failure, so be it.
Doing things the right way.  I have a lot of admiration for that attitude, but sadly, l can't see them continuing for a lot longer.
As a side note, some of the  the artwork they use on their posters and t-shirts is brilliant, check it out below (although the middle one is an actual Calexico (the place) poster.  Would still look good on a t-shirt though.

toodle pip

david vann - dirt

Despite never hearing about the book or author before, I read David Vann's 'Dirt' after it was recommended to me as something l'd like, and l wasn't disappointed.  It features Galen, a spoilt, new age worshiping would be guru and spiritual master (who isn't), who refuses to eat, and takes great pleasure in winding up his mother, who won't pay for him to further his education.  He goes out walking at night to be at one with nature, has some painful/pleasurable sex with a relative, and then goes completely off the rails as things start to spiral out of control.  
Marvelous stuff.

toodle pip

Saturday, 29 June 2013

robin thicke - blurred lines

Although l'm not too keen on all the bitches and hoe's songs that are so popular with the USA R'n'B fraternity, l love Robin Thicke's (featuring T.I and Pharrell) 'Blurred Lines' as it's just sooooooo damn catchy.
Now if only l could dance or had a smidgen of rhythm in my sad old body, l'd be up bustin' some moves (so it's a good job l can't).

toodle pip

Friday, 28 June 2013

the trickle down theory

toodle pip

depressed? cheeky sod!

When l was out and about yesterday at work, the person l was supporting was given this leaflet by a passing member of the public (female).
What on Earth was she trying to hint at?
It's about finding a way out of depression by following the path of the Lord, but was she assuming the person l was supporting looked depressed?
Needed assistance from a higher power??
With me supporting them???
I'll have you know l am fantastic at my job thank you very much.
How very dare they (as Edith used to say)

toodle pip

and thinking about women photographers - sheila rock

 Sheila herself

The Buzzcocks

Siouxsie Sioux

The Cure

Johnny Rotton / Lydon

Billy Idol

The Clash

Debbie Harry

When the punk wars were happening, Sheila Rock was one of the photographers that was in the thick of it, shooting some iconic images along the way.  I don't know what l expected her to look like, but certainly not the innocent and sweet looking lady at the top.
She has a new book about Punk for sale, and her website is here.
It just goes to show (yet again) that you can't judge a book by it's cover.
However, you can judge a crap British 'Comedy film' by the amount of 'iconic' and 'hilarious' stars that are in it. But don't get me started on that one.

toodle pip

Thursday, 27 June 2013

the vivian maier story

There was a great BBC Imagine documentary on the other night about Vivian Maier, the loner nanny who took thousands of photographs, mostly street scenes from around the Chicago area.
The photography itself was really high quality, but of course the most fascinating part of the story was that she kept the photographs to herself, and was so driven in her need to take them, expressing herself and capturing her own (and her surroundings) history.  I have always had a great admiration for anyone who just does their own thing, not caring what others think (hence my love of Keef), so this was right up my street.
Since her death in 2009, there has been a huge demand for her prints and originals, plus gallery displays and coffee table books, but you would like to think that she would still have had some success if her work had been unearthed earlier.  Now that she has ceased to be (as The Pythons would say), she will always be the elusive loner character, and her worth will probably only increase, as her cult following grows.
Maier kept her photography work in various storage containers, which was then bought unseen when she could not meet her storage bills, with the consequence that it was divided up among  innocents, collectors, and get rich quick charlatans.
Some of the images and information can be found here and here, and the BBC doc is here.
I may post some of her street photography at a later date, as l particularly like the ones with billboard or theater writing in the background, but for the meantime, above are some of her self portraits.
How very reflective.

toodle pip

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

the rather magnificent rich hall


Myself, Robbo, Kerrie and the FPO went along to see Rich Hall in Middlesbrough in May, and it he was hilarious.  Up to then, the funniest comedian l had seen was Billy Connolly in a small place in New York (coz l'm cool!), but the night out with Rich Hall was sooooo much better than l had hoped for, and just as good (if not better) than the Connolly show.  I was crying with laughter throughout, and although a lot of the show is obviously scripted, there was a lot of riffing with members of the audience as well, which highlighted how quickly Hall thinks on his feet. Sadly, there was no appearance of his alter ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, but that didn't matter, as his command of comedy which he has honed over the years more than made up for it.

I've since finished reading three of Hall's books, the results of which were varied.  I enjoyed them all, but although the language used and topics covered were impressive, there wasn't that many laugh out loud parts, except in the 'I Blame Society' one, which has a potted history of Otis' life and marriages to various Brendas.  Some of the song lyrics in that were both clever and funny, and you find yourself rooting for the old rascal.  The other two books would have been a lot better if performed on stage, as they lacked Halls delivery and timing, but the content was pretty top notch.

Anyway, here's a clip of him reading from 'Inglorious Bastards' and some videos.
Just a pity he didn't have tour posters for sale, as they would have been bought, signed, framed and hung in no time (a bit like Otis himself).

toodle pip

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

cutting the bleeding grass (again!)

Well, the lawnmower has eventually been fixed, and l have been able to cut the bleeding grass at long last.  I had already cut it once this year when it was really overgrown, so l was a bit pissed off it had grown so much  again.  I even got a blister on my hand, as the last thing l am used to these days  is hard manual work (soft handed girl that l am).
I also cut some branches off the trees and am going to have a bonfire to burn them all, but l had better make sure Tubbs isn't hiding among the crap, like he was doing today.
Maybe he has had enough of being stuck with me and has got a death wish. He certainly didn't look too happy to be bought back in.
Time to get his mind right, as he needs to know who's boss around these parts (or no carrots for him in the morning).

toodle pip

Monday, 24 June 2013

nozzer's vet bill

When sorting out some crap in the house the other night, l came across this old vet bill from when Nozzer, our old rabbit was going to the vets all of the time as he kept having puss oozing out of him.
£75.96 bleeding pounds!!!!
Luckily the rabbit had character, and if it cost that much to sort him out, so be it.
Sadly he didn't live that much longer, and Tubbs the idiot rabbit from outside got to come into the house and pester me.
Still, it was good while it lasted.

toodle pip

Sunday, 23 June 2013

black and white tights dance

An ingenious dance routine that is mind boggling and funny at the same time.
From Boing Boing.

toodle pip

Saturday, 22 June 2013

franz reichelt jumps off the eiffel tower

It's always good to have the courage of your convictions, but sometimes it can all go a bit pear shaped.
This is Franz Reichelt, a man who invented a new form of parachute that could be worn as a jacket.  To demonstrate how it would work, in 1912 he jumped off the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Sadly for him, the parachute/jacket combination must have come from the same Acme Corporation store that Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons uses, and he plummeted to his death.
He might have been barmy to leap off the tower in the first place, but that still took a hell of a lot of courage.
The video of the jump is below, and you will see him hesitating before jumping, with, as it turned out, good reason.

toodle pip