This bizarre, Manchester-based TV show from 1964 was filmed when Sister Rosetta Tharpe was 49 years of age, as the blues revival continued apace for young British hipsters. It takes her a minute to descend from her horse and carriage, but once she straps on her electric guitar, the woman is mesmerising.
Clapton pulls some blues moves off for a stuffy reporter whilst his guitar smokes.
His guitar tone is OFF THE DIAL! Not sure if the ‘Woman Tone’ that they describe as “whining” would be acceptable these days. Don’t ask Andy Gray and Richard Keys for their opinion…
Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled, 1957
I saw this picture in Middlesbrough Institute Of Modern Art (mima) on Saturday before watching a rather less artful football match… It’s a drawing using collage and I liked the contrast between the two colours and the imperfection of the pencil line. My mate, Neil, said it looked like a bum.
“The full moon is so fierce that I can count the
coconuts’ cross-hatched shade on bungalows,
their white walls raging with insomnia.”
The opening lines of Derek Walcott’s Europa paint a vivid picture.
I went see the magnificent David Byrne’s new concert movie last night at the Tyneside Cinema, followed by a live Q & A broadcast with Byrne from Brixton. It was great to see someone still pushing the boundaries of the live rock show by incorporating dance in a cool way. As well as featuring amazing music and choreography, it made me laugh too – he’s a funny, perceptive man.
Outrageously nimble creation.
There’s a brilliant scene in Days Of Heaven, directed by Terence Malick, where a swarm of locusts rain down on a farm, wreaking havoc with the crops. It has a terrible beauty to it. The film is less interested in characterisation and instead relies on visual poetry to tell its story. Life is shown as an unstoppable flow, sometimes fast and thunderous, sometimes slow and ponderous.
Sue Tompkins, taken from the Unique series, 2010
Sue Tompkins, taken from Your side effect series, 2010
Sue Tompkins is better known (at least to me) as the voice of Life Without Buildings (the best band ever… yeah, better than the Beatles etc.). I also really like her visual artwork and solo performances where she repeats words and phrases until they gain some sort of new meaning. I’ll be going to mima in Middlesbrough soon to listen to an installation of her work and decided to post a couple of her sparse, type-written pieces that I find evocative.
This will either do your head in or make your day. It made mine.
Another great LP from The Books. If you have time, visit www.thebooksmusic.com and read the blog about how Nick from the band reconstructed his own home’s interior out of pine. Inspirational.
I nicked this picture from the Altered Zones website. It’s of Mick Karn the bassist from Japan who, sadly, died a few days ago. I had a great day freaking out to his silky fretless bass last year (Tin Drum LP, I think) and when I saw this picture I thought it would be a fitting tribute. I wish I had the style to pull this combination off (and I also wish I could get away with fretless bass, too) – late Japan records are so under-rated.
I just watched Grey Gardens again and it’s as bizarre and confusing as ever. A mother and daughter battle madness and bicker in their crumbling mansion whilst the Maysles brothers document their fall from grace in American society. It made me think of the decrepitude of some of Detroit’s finest buildings, which have been recently documented by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre. I saw them on the Guardian website the other day. Such a shame.