Sunday, March 13, 2005

X% inspiration, Y% perspiration, 100 - (X+Y)% self-promotion:

Rather than head to SXSW, I will be travelling NXNE next week to appear as the musical guest at THE MILLIONS POEMS SHOW, with Susan Wheeler and your host Jordan Davis. The date is Wed., March 13, the time is 6:30, the directions are here. I would love to see you.

Beyond that, I'll be in NYC from tomorrow until Sunday 3/20 -- going to Kenward Elmslie's Lingoland on Thursday, and there are one or two work-related matters to be taken care of, but the dance card is not entirely full, and I would be pleased to hear from friends and acquaintances who have time for a cup of coffee or something, whether you're coming to the show or not. I'll be online -- though I doubt I'll post more here until late in the week.

It's killing me that I have to come back the day of the Nightingales show -- still holding out hope for an instore.


Quickly. Saw Peter Medak's The Krays last night, starring Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet and his brother Martin as the '50s spiffiest English working-class hoodlums/mama's boys. At the Q&A, one learned that the director of, most famously, The Ruling Class and [...] Joe Egg is a Hungarian emigre who watched the Soviets take his dad away at gunpoint. Strangely, he's also a neighbor of Bree's parents in WeHo; we shook hands at their New Year's Eve party, but I didn't have a lot to say, being largely unfamiliar with what could be fairly called his varied career. The Krays, for its part, is quite dark, controlled, and allusive -- I saw bits of Mean Streets, the British cycle of gangster films Wollen has written about, and the film version of Noel Coward's The Happy Breed (in the domestic setting). The screenwriters seemed to be trying to make some kind of connection between the homefront experience of WWII and the rise of organized crime in its aftermath, but this was obscure.

In other Spandau Ballet related news: I haven't even cracked the cellophane, but I was entirely unable to resist the conceit of 12"/80s (Family Recordings), a 3-disc set of just what the title indicates: The extended mixes of a decade's worth of (mostly U.K.) pop singles, from "A Forest" to Curiosity Killed The Cat's "Down To Earth." (And, of course, Scritti Politti's "Wood Beez," one of the few tracks I already own; I actually bought this comp in preference to the early SP reissue.) I'm looking forward to revisiting the cases where this treatment seemed especially beside the point of the band given the treatment: Aztec Camera's "Walk Out To Winter," The Jam's "Precious." SB are represented by "To Cut A Long Story Short," somewhat in advance of "True" and U.S. 1.5-hit-wonderhood.


The music-toy mentioned last week is the "Symphony Painter" software for Fischer Price's "Color Pixter"; according to Time (I went back to the barbershop), the brainchild of M.I.T. Media Lab researcher Tod Machover. Next step: Find one.

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