Sunday, July 23, 2006

"I'm ready for my close-up now, Mr Farren!"

I'm hot. You're hot. He's hot. She's hot.

Mick Farren is hot! My friends in Omagh are hot!

And Europe? Europe is le Haute!

Europe cooler but deadly heatwave set to return with a vengeance.

But the good news is: President Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty way back there in March 2001...because Global Warming really isn't scientifically proven yet. And President Bush must know what he's talking about, or New York City wouldn't have hosted the 2004 Republican Convention! New York City! And If you can't make the presidential nomination there, you can't make it anywhere...!

Husband: Name the Top Ten Movies about heatwaves...
Me: Ah...okay. Cujo.
Husband: Predator. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Lawrence of Arabia.
Me: Do the Right Thing.
Husband: Cool Hand Luke...
Me: I'm too hot to think of anything else.

But whatever. The thing is: I'm back. Got me a copy of Give the Anarchist a Cigarette and I'm ready to talk.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Let's do the Time Warp again..."

(A Slice of Fine from the Doctor Who entry at wikipedia)

When I first met Mr. T, he had a rather extensive collection of home-taped videocassettes all bearing the hand-scrawled legend "Doctor Who." Then, too, our proximity to Silicon Valley and its legions of gnomic obsessives ensured that our PBS station carried the series (and Red Dwarf and Blake's Seven and Black Adder and the venerable Monty Python and Nova and Stephen Hawking and shows about robots) endlessly. It was the Tom Baker-era Doctor, and I gamely gave the thing a go.

Now, let only she who did not watch the rubber-mask monster and suspiciously flat-floored cave era of original series Star Trek cast the first stone. (And what about all those Class-M planets, huh? What were the odds there?) But I just couldn't summon up enough suspension of disbelief when the Doctor called on our house. "These Daleks," I said. "They don't seem to be able to step up on surfaces, do they? So...perhaps you climb a set of stairs? Problem solved?"

Eventually, as with his similar mission on behalf of the Three Stooges, my husband gave up the prosthetizing effort to convert me. But that was a long time ago. And now, reading that David Tennant has finally reached his childhood goal of playing The Doctor, I find that I might be of an entirely different opinion on the matter after all.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Ain't Got A Home"

From the recent Fourth of July weekend:

Steve: Katrina Fatigue? Bullsh*t. Anyone in the media using the phrase "Katrina Fatigue" can kiss my ass.
Me: Did they ever find your next-door neighbor?
Steve: No.

Program aims to keep musicians in Big Easy

NEW ORLEANS - Dan Oestreicher is a 23-year-old saxophone player, not long out of college, who has lived with friends since Hurricane Katrina's floodwater drove him from his apartment. A new housing program aims to turn him into a homeowner.

Oestreicher is one of dozens of New Orleans residents who have signed up to help build the so-called Musicians' Village, a collection of houses in a section of the Ninth Ward flooded after the storm, in exchange for a bargain price on a brand new house.

He said he liked the idea of living near fellow musicians. He also likes the idea of paying $500 a month to own a brand new, three-bedroom house worth about $90,000.

More at the link.

Well, I got a voice
And I love to sing
I can sing like a bird
And I can sing like a frog
I'm a lonely boy
I ain't got a home

I ain't got a girl
I ain't got a son
I ain't got no kin
I ain't got no one
I'm a lonely frog
I ain't got a home

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jeremy Harding on Syd Barrett

Last Thursday, I searched the LRB archives in vain for this article. It is clear that the editors have since made a decision to put it online, and -- even more to the point -- have made it available for free without subscription. Full article at link.


...Barrett's afternoonishness was far more supple and engaging. It superimposed the hippie cult of eternal solstice on the pre-teatime daydreams of one's childhood, occasioned by a slick of sunlight on a chest-of-drawers or a snatch of plainsong in the radiator - a daydream that quickly filled with gaudy archetypes and very private, custom-built creations. Barrett's songs are full of both: bog-standard gnomes on the one hand, homeless mice called 'Gerald' on the other. His afternoonishness is lit by an importunate adult intelligence that can't quite get back to the place it longs to be.

Remarkably, Barrett created the same, precocious longing in adolescents who heard his music at the time. I remember 'See Emily Play' drifting across a school corridor in 1967 - I was 15 then - and I remember the powerful wish to stay suspended indefinitely in that music, just as I wanted to hang about for ever in another, much darker song of the same period, 'My Eyes Have Seen You', by the Doors. I also remember the quasi-adult intimation that this wasn't possible. Which may have been why the first strains of 'Emily', even then, marked the onset of sulkiness and regret; the thing you adored was eluding you even as you heard it. Roll on teatime...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"So me and a hundred more,

To Americay sailed o'er."

But I digress. The thunder of our two brave cannon announced the Fourth of July, at daylight, to all who were awake. But many of us got our information at a later hour, from the almanac. All the flags were sent aloft, except half a dozen that were needed to decorate portions of the ship below, and in a short time the vessel assumed a holiday appearance. During the morning, meetings were held and all manner of committees set to work on the celebration ceremonies. In the afternoon, the ship’s company assemble aft, on deck, under the awnings; the flute, the asthmatic melodeon, and the consumptive clarinet crippled the Star Spangled Banner, and the choir chased it to cover, and George came in with a peculiarly lacerating screech on the final note and slaughtered it. Nobody mourned.

We carried out the corpse on three cheers (that joke was not intentional and I do not endorse it) and then the President, throned behind a cable-locker, with a national flag spread over it, announced the “Reader,” who rose up and read that same old Declaration of Independence which we have all listened to so often without paying any attention to what it said: and after that the President piped the Orator of the Day to quarters and he made that same old speech about our national greatness which we so religiously believe and so fervently applaud. Now came the choir into court again, with the complaining instruments and assaulted Hail Columbia; and when victory hung wavering in the scale, George returned with his dreadful wild-goose step turned on and the choir won of course. A minister pronounced the benediction, and the patriotic little gathering disbanded. The Fourth of July was safe, as far as the Mediterranean was concerned.

from The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain, cub-reporter, Alta California, San Francisco, 1867.

To my various email correspondents of late: it is a great honor to me to be called a “Yank,” in whatever spirit you intended, as I share this title with Mark Twain, an author whose collected works inspired not only the post-modernist masterpiece Finnegans Wake, but also the general spirit and vein of the collected works of Flann O’Brien. I only hope that I can live up to the legacy that your deep respect for my online scribbling entails.

Another perspective on the Fourth of July from Samuel Clemons.

From Flann O'Brien's Third Policeman:

'Is it about a bicycle?' he asked.

'Not that' said the Sergeant. 'This is a private visitor who says he did not arrive in the townland upon a bicycle. He has no personal name at all. His dadda is in far Amurikey.'

'Which of the two Amurikeys?' asked MacCruiskeen.

'The Unified Stations,' said the Sergeant.

'Likely he is rich by now if he is in that quarter,' said MacCruiskeen, 'because there's dollars there, dollars and bucks and nuggets in the ground and any amount of rackets and golf games and musical instruments. It is a free country too by all accounts.'

And finally:

God prosper the bold hearts on both land and ocean,
Who go in defiance of danger and scars,
And send them safe home to their wives and their sweethearts,
With the Harp of old Erin and Banner of Stars

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bless me Blogger for I have sinned...

It's been nearly two weeks since my last blogging (that Whitby greeting doesn't really count, does it?). I've committed YouTube several times. (It's just so easy to cut and paste those things!) And I've been remiss in visiting Generic Mugwump, Doc40 and many others. It's almost the Fourth of July and I don't even have a theme post planned.

But I do have news on Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono:

Vegas Very Much in "Love" with the Beatles

Ringo Starr walked the red carpet Friday night with Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow, Olivia, at the Friday premiere of Love, a new Cirque du Soleil extravaganza set entirely to Beatles music handpicked by the Fab Four's main producer, George Martin.

Paul McCartney was also expected to attend the show, which has moved into a $130 million, 2,013-seat theater at the Mirage Hotel that took two years to build. Every seat is equipped with three speakers, to better immerse the audience in the magical, mysterious world populated by "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Eleanor Rigby" and "Lady Madonna."

More at link.

And news from Hot Press:


If the five-string is your thing, here's some useful info for you: Ireland's "biggest and best" guitar festival is preparing for a hive of activity next week, with the lion's share of its events taking place between 4-9 July.

In addition to workshops, special events and seminars, the festival has attracted respected acts such as the Niall Toner Band, Clive Barnes and John Williams & John Etheridge.

A highlight will be Paco Peña & Friends, who play Vicar Street on Friday 7 July.

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster for E35.

More information on this event, and the festival, is available from

Okay. Off to Generic Mugwump for a while!