Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Macroprosopus Dancehall Band at the ICA

November 6, 2008

There I was, transcribing an interview, when my hubby comes back all outta breath from Brick Lane Bike Polo.

I’m going to see Juliana do some art tonight, Mikey says she’s going to cover herself in microphones and roll around on the ground.”

I look up from the bed from which I have been slobbing out in all day, dressed in squat clothes I stole from our old house in Notting Hill.

Juliana is the brains behind Thing (see below), so there was no way I was gonna miss out on tonight’s event.

Julianas most amazing thing (2004)

Juliana's most amazing 'thing' (2004)

Well, get me on the guestlist,” I said. “I am coming to that.”

A few phone calls and a plate of reheated vegan chilli later, and we were riding across the river to my fave London venue, the ICA.

We got there just before eight only to find Juliana stressed out before the show. ‘I don’t know if we can get you in, but we’ll try,‘ she says, explaining that tonight she will not be covering herself in mics, but, in fact,using kitchen cutlery and a cheese grater to add to the ambiance. As you do.

She is part of the group of around 30 women who’s visceral noise was to close the ICA’s six-month long Nought To Sixty exhibition.

Plan B‘s Frances Morgan and Leopard Leg founder, (I think) Maya-Victoria Kjellstrand orchestrated the thing, which was meant to resemble the noise of animals swarming using the vocal power and techy noodling of a lot of impassioned women.

It really was a lot better than I’m describing.

Think Leopard Leg (if you saw them) meets the neo-tribal sounds of Gang Gang Dance without any of the pretensions. Oh and this. It was droning, grungey, hypnotic and visceral. Awesome. I wanna be in the band!

From what I heard, the 8pm performance was 10 mins shorter than the 10pm performance, but they both turned out pretty good. We didn’t have tix for the earlier show, even though we had arrived on time for it, so we sat around drinking free beer in the foyer until they let us in the darkened room.

Some pics:

The band

The band

Drumming

Drumming

Juliana Cerqueria Leite and other band members

Juliana Cerqueria Leite and other band members

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Novice Theory on Jools Holland

November 1, 2008

Thanks to Owen for flagging up the fact that my new favourite musician, Novice Theory was on Jools Holland’s tv programme last night, and will be on Iplayer for a week.

Geo Wyeth on Jools

Geo Wyeth on Jools

On a line-up that included Grace Jones and Razorlight (!), Geo Wyeth played ‘About The Dream’ in a darkened studio with just a spotlight. After his performance, Jools said his producer had seen Novice Theory ina  show recently (‘Lustre’, obviously) and have been so blown away they’d booked him for the programme.

Props to the Jools producers!

Geo starts to sing

Geo starts to sing

Justin Bond’s ‘Lustre’ and Novice Theory in London

October 15, 2008
Justin Bond in New York I presume

Justin Bond

The hubby and I braved the pesky rain to get our fix of transvestite cabaret, courtesy of Justin Bond and pals at the Soho Theatre last night.

Justin Bond, one half of Kiki and Herb, first entered my radar (gaydar?) thanks to John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus. (see video clip here).

He played the madam of this wild DUMBA sex-den which allowed people to get their freakiest of freaks on, while he match-made and sang.

he’s great. Kinda mistake-laden, he nevertheless sang with feeling, gave some cracking insights into her world (“trans people are the closes thing to God because of their potential to be anything”) and reminded me of the difficulty in climbing on a piano elegantly in a mini-skirt when you don’t want anyone to see your crotch.

But it was Novice Theory who blew me the fuck out of my seat and into his arms. Creaking down the theatre’s stairway, accordion in hand and ripped, Oliver Twist-style suit.

Novice Theory is the first of three guests that fill Bond’s Lustre show, and I hadn’t realised they were all trans.

After the show, I bought his CD for a fiver (I never do that!), so smitten was I with his one song, ‘About The Dream’.

The song – pure vocal prowess and accordion made me think of one of my fave films of 2007, Into The Wild (almost ruined by Eddy Vedder’s gross soundtrack) and Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006). The forlorn lyrics, his disheveled alter-ego lost-boy look and the pure acoustics (no mics, just squeezebox and voice) would have been a perfect addition to Into The Wild‘s soundtrack.

Emile Hirsch - Into The Wild

Emile Hirsch - Into The Wild

To see how versatile his style is see The D Word’s three tracks – they couldn’t be more different from the album, ‘In The End We Listen’ which is what I bought and is on his myspace.

He’s a video from Homophonic, talking about Viktor Shklovsky and art as interruption. I can’t embed it so I’ll drive traffic to Homophonic’s site. It’s a really great video.

Novice Theory - H/she misses rap, but his/her accordion playing rules

Novice Theory - H/she misses rap, but his/her accordion playing rules

Oh – and interestingly, Yale-educated Geo Wyeth (aka Novice Theory, former rapper turned everything else really), is also ‘bi-racial’ as his ma was African-American and his dad was white. (I wonder if he’s also Jewish, due to his song Yom Kippur on the album.)

Anyway, in the above video, he discusses it all. It’s a rare example of an in-depth interview and the goddamn opposite of what I had with Joanus Cuaron the other day.

Except that after a great interview, I’ve just noticed that in a performance of the song Vignettes, the bleep out the lyric ‘nigger‘, which is totally unacceptable. You can’t mess with the dude’s art!

Here’s some WAY different recordings of him: http://www.thedword.com/geo.html

Secret Cinema presents a Night at The Opera

October 3, 2008
A Night At The Opera (1935)

A Night At The Opera (1935)

Secret Cinema (sponsored by Nokia) is a monthly occurrence in the capital.

Previous nights have included a screening of Lindsay Anderson’s “IF…” (funny story about that and its star Malcom McDowell to come later) in PG Wodehouse’s old school, Dulwich College and Paranoid Park in a disused rail tunnel.

The idea is that you sign up for monthly reminders of the screening, hand over your money (online) and then turn up, dressed in whatever attire they recommend.

This month it was at the Hackney Empire, which I thought sounded a bit rubbish compared to the previous events. But – there was a queue around the block to get in as I was locking the bike.

Not the Hackney Empire, but you get the idea

Not the Hackney Empire, but you get the idea

But it was totally magical – and one of the best film screenings of my life; surpassing last Friday’s midnight movies by a mile. Midnight movies is a great idea but I believe it is run by just two people, who do the best they can (and a great job at that, we djs and famous folk to pick ad introduce the screenings) but, the work invested in SECRET CINEMA is unsurpassed.

Most were dressed in their finest; 1920’s-30’s style night-time regalia and a harp player sat strumming at the top of the stars. Two women in red doled out vintage hard-boiled sweets in paper bags (rhubarb & custard! Lemon drops!) and then, once seated, two couples in opera boxes across the theatre acted out a scene from the movie.

And then we saw some Future Shorts, a silent movie with live piano accompaniment by a lovely lady in black called Lily Farthing (check out this dude, Stanley Mchale – he’s all about Lily Farthing), some  more scenes of the fothcoming movie and then – it began!

Ship cabins - you aint got money, you aint got space

Ship cabins - you ain't got money, you ain't got space

The atmosphere was great – we were all clapping after every song; more so than at Midnight Movies. I laughed so hard, I cried when the Marx brothers were fooling that cop with the old room switcheroo.

It was the best possible way to see a Marx brothers’ film ( and my first at that), which of course if secret Cinema’s point.

In much the same way that little white lies magazine expands the topic of a film in each issue, allowing the film fans who write fr  it to run wild with a theme, so its the same here. Exceeding the idea of simply reviewing or screening a film makes you learn more about it and have a freakin’ blast at the same. Horray!
Here’s how the invite read:

SECRET CINEMA LONDON.

Secret Venue, London.

Friday 3rd October, 8pm.

http://www.secretcinema.org

Lords and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses, Partisans and Plebeians and the Claypool Foundation of Arts.

If we could draw your closest attention…

Secret Cinema in association with NOKIA will take place this Friday 3rd of October at 8pm at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London.

Please gather no later than 7.45pm at the theatre. Doors shall open at 8pm.

Dress should be majestic and wondrous for this shall be an evening of wild, wild romance, honey song, long journeys, laughter and dance.

Lords fetch your top hats. Ladies your most treasured frocks. Plebeians caps and leather shoes if you can..

Good Luck.

P.S. Remember – tell no-one.

www.secretcinema.org

SECRET CINEMA: PARTISANS – £13.50
NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
SECRET CINEMA: PLEBEIANS – £10.00

Eau de Toilette – John Waters delights at the Hammersmith Apollo, with ‘This Filthy World’

September 21, 2008
Divine!

Divine!

Last night the hubby and I went to see ‘pope of Trash’. John Waters in his one-off show at the Hammersmith Apollo – horrible place. We dressed up in our finest (me in 1960s’ Wednesday Adams/American Gothic dress and he in what I refer to as his psycho-cowboy shirt) and ate greasy chips as we headed to the tube.

I didnt look like this but thought this unusual take on the trad American Gothic picture was too good to pass up

I didn't look like this but thought this 'unusual' take on the trad American Gothic picture was too good to pass up

After a long trek from south London to the far reaches of West London (as cyclists, we cannot understand how the tube takes so long to get where its going, or rather, sometimes going), we had to risk life and limb to actually enter the Apollo since it sits obtusely behind a fly-over with little pedestrian access).

But Waters, well, he lit it up. We were very lucky to have been donated super good seats, so we got to see him and opening burlesque act, Ivy Paige’s Sex Doll up close and sweaty. Paige particularly.

Ivy Paige likes it red hot

Ivy Paige likes it red hot

Note to self (and nutritionists): Does Waters, at 60-whatever years if age even have enough body fat to survive sweating any out?

Anyway, from what I understand he regurgitated a lot of his ‘This Filthy World’ act on stage – he made a movie with Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin, which documented the same stage show in New York in 2006.

But no matter, while die-hard fans are going to O.D on Waterisms, there’s little harm in being exposed to outré snippets of wit consistently is there?

And while I like his movies (though some parts of Desperate Living are too terrible to take), I actually think he’s far funnier in person than his films end up being.

Desperate Living

Desperate Living

Obviously, stylishly unsurpassed and always ‘button-pressing’, I sometimes find all the hyped-garishness off-putting. It took me a long time before I would watch the unashamedly camp Hairspray (1988) – and not least because I was four when it came out.

I fought my friends arguments as to its merits, and eventually watched it one night while my then far-too-old for-me boyfriend was watching straight-edge punk bands while dressed as a women down in Brighton, where he lived/lives.

Debbie Harry holds her own in Hairspray (1988)

Debbie Harry holds her own in Hairspray (1988)

Anyway, I liked it n all but it didn’t affect me as it has done others. I like being part of sub-culture that appreciates what John Waters does, and I very much like his insistence on the ceremony of cinema, like 50’s techniques of employing ODORAMA, or ELECTRIC SHOCKS IN CINEMA SEATS TO TINGLE AUDIENCES, or FAKING FAINTINGS TO HYPE UP A HORROR or GETTING AMBULANCES TO WAIT OUTSIDE etc.

Oh and his soundtracks rule – all creepy 1960s freak-out and sing along tragi-comi melodies (Is there a better genre?)

I’m listening to The Meteors‘ typically haunted copy of John Leyton 1961’s ‘Johnny Remember Me’, –click here for it on youtube – in a kind of homage to the man.

But in terms of queer cinema, I’m like : ‘that was okay’.

John, recently

John, recently

I just found this lovely piece of prose from the New York Times in 2002 which sums up Waters’ snappy humour brilliantly, and what I do love about him. (NB= writer, John Leland even calls Johnny-boy, Mr. Waters throughout! )

It stands to reason that you cannot become John Waters, auteur of such Oscar-free classics as ”Female Trouble” and ”Hag in a Black Leather Jacket,” without drinking long and deep of the cultural gutters of downtown Manhattan. Baltimore may have its gothic charms, but if the Dutch explorers had not settled this other lustrous, grubby isle, the world might never know the cinematic sensation of Odorama.

Mr. Waters offered a tour, beginning in the living room with a witty sculpture by George Stoll. On an ordinary toilet-paper holder, mounted in a wall, Mr. Stoll, who had a small role in Mr. Waters’s 1972 movie ”Pink Flamingos,” replaced the tissue with a roll of chiffon. Mr. Waters needed approval from the condominium to install it. He could only imagine what the super thought.

To facilitate his vision of semi-patrician Manhattan, he hired a Baltimore decorator named Henry Johnson, the first time he had ever used a professional. ”I told him I just wanted a symphony in puke green, and I got it,” Mr. Waters said. He had always considered that his signature color. There’s a slightly different shade in each room.

Mr. Waters explained: ”When I was a child I wanted my skin to be that color, like the Wicked Witch of the West. Now, as I get older, it’s getting close. It’ll match the apartment.’

John Leyton sings Johnny Remember Me:

Chloe Sevigny’s first screen performance

August 24, 2008

This is getting crazy – I promise I will leave this “subject” alone now.

Chloe Sevigny

Chloe Sevigny

But in my music video searches, I spotted a little known fact. To me at least.

Pre-Kids (1995), style icon, Chloe Sevigny made her debut in mega-hit for Sonic Youth, ‘Sugar Kane‘.

It’s a cherry, right? An old school, delight.

If this is not news, I understand. But you if read my earlier post, you’ll note that music videos have historically been unavailable to me.

I’m slowly catching up.

What does Macauley Culkin have in common with Bonnie Prince Billy, Sonic Youth, Cat Power and Daniel Johnson?

August 24, 2008

Harmony Korine, of course!

Return of The Mac

Return of The Mac

In 1998, Korine directed Sonic Youth’s Sunday. It was mega exiting at the time because we hadn’t seen mad Macaulay Culkin in forever! I remember reading about the video in Kerrang! Magazine (of which I was a devotee – ordering it in from my suburban newsagents every Wednesday), and trying to download it from my 56k dial-up connection. (We never – and still don’t – have cable tv, so music videos have always had an air of excitement for me, due to their scarcity on my life. On a side note – I remember doing the same thing when black metaller-turned director, Jonas Åkerlund made the excellent=but MTV-banned video for The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up.

Kerrang! loved that one.

Anyway – here’s Korine’s Sunday video, with narration by Sonic Youth. Incidentally, made three years beofore Culkin made Party Monster with Korine’s ex, Chore Sevigny. (I love her. But who do I adore more? Her or Harmony?)

Below see Korine’s vid for old pal, Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Will Oldham): No More Workhouse Blues

Here’s his old drinking buddy’s Chan Marshall’s Living Proof vid:

Oh and interestingly, in a 1999 Dazed & Confused magazine article Korine listed his top ten films as: Hector Babenco, Badlands and Days of Heaven by Terrence Malick, Fat City by John Huston, Stroszek by Werner Herzog, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, A Woman Under the Influence by John Cassavetes, McCabe and Mrs. Miller by Robert Altman, Out of the Blue by Dennis Hopper and Hail Mary by Jean-Luc Godard.


The reason Linda Manz is cast in Gummo is ’cause Harmo loves her so much in Hopper’s Out of The Blue and Malick’s Days Of Heaven.