Friday, 30 November 2007
Brian's short essay tells of his love for wearing women's clothing and how he used to trade clothes with his girlfriends. I like the story he tells of when he was aged 10...
The story I always tell people is I was about ten years old, swimming at my grandmother's house. My cousin and I were in front of a mirror and he had a buzz cut hairdo, I had a little kid mullet. All of a sudden, he bursts out laughing and pointing at me and the bit of wet hair that was kind of curled around my neck and says,"HA HA, you look like a girl! You look like a girl!" I did look like a girl. I had very soft features for a boy and with my hair a bit longer, it wasn't a hard sell. But his teasing didn't make me feel bad. I thought I looked kind of...cool. I was intrigued by my androgyny and felt almost empowered by it. So I grew up thinking that since I certainly wasn't born to look like some gruff, muscled out, Dude-Guy, that I might as well work with what the good lord gave me, which happened to be a good, sassy, pout and a sweet ass. So, off I went.
Having had the honour of meeting Brian a few weeks ago I can report that he doesn't look like a girl and that he does have a great pout. I can't comment on his ass, though.
He looks good in a frock. One of my favourite Dolls videos is 'Backstabber' with Amanda in man-drag and Brian in woman-drag exploring each other's tattoos of the names of previous lovers. It's marvelous fun!
I'm actually quite proud of Brian for writing that piece for the website. Not just writing it, but then promoting it and the site through the Dolls' MySpace list. As Brian says, "Don't ever give up on yourself."
Thursday, 29 November 2007
What do you think?
Equal rights for Beardies! We'll fight em in the streets and in the barbers! Right on!
What am I wittering on about? Read this and be disgusted and outraged at such base discrimination. I am shocked, I tell you, shocked. Us beardies need to stick together.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Monday, 26 November 2007
Carroll came on first for three songs, then Janet for three songs and then swapped back and forth in that pattern. Gentle, happy music. They've got complementary voices so work well together, but we didn't get any duets. It was nice to see them sitting at the side of the stage when the other one took the mic, singing along with the backing singers, obviously familiar with each others songs but they also seemed to like them.
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Friday, 23 November 2007
Watch this space...
Thursday, 22 November 2007
One of my favourite bits n bobs at home is a lampshade I bought from Cressida two or three years ago that I think of as my 'garden' lampshade with trees of different shapes and colours painted round the shade. When I went over to look at the lampshades this evening my eyes kept swivelling over to a shade with a more geometric pattern and a matching base. My eyes kept finding it amongst all the other lamps and shades which can only mean that I like and need it.
I also got a lovely woollen scarf in reds and blues in the 'Indian stripes' design (same design, different colours to the photo on Cressida's website). I was surprised that she remembered that I'd bought the same scarf last year, but that time in greens and purples and in silk. What a memory! I like the design.
Here's a photo of my lovely new lamp with my 'garden' lampshade in the background. Oh, and the picture of the parrot is actually painted on a feather and is from Canadaford.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Monday, 19 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Well, Buffy is playing the Highline again on 28 March 2008 and I've booked tickets. I *will* see Ms Sainte-Marie. And, of course, March is when her new album is due out, so maybe this will be a 'launch' event?
Many thanks to Christopher for finding out that important news!
It all seemed to be a bit much for Bev at the end, her big night at the Royal Albert Hall, and there were tears as the lad singer hugged her and led her to her place in the centre for the big group bows before leaving the stage. When she came on stage at the start she said something like. 'And they said this would never happen', meaning her playing there, so perhaps this was a longtime dream come true for wor Bev'lee?
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
As the blurb says, "Tom Tom Club's very special christmas CD single! Not only great to listen too, but also makes a nice christmas tree decoration. Christmas in the Club features Mystic Bowie & Kid Ginseng."
It's not as bouncey as I'd have hoped for but, after all, one can't bounce too much at Christmas without spilling one's drink, so that's probably for the best.
Monday, 12 November 2007
After a brief comment about McLaren being on 'I'm A Celebrity' last night, they launched into 'Pretty Vacant' and hit the ground running. The setlist was the same as on Friday (I think) but I wasn't really counting, I was too busy enjoying myself.
John prowling the stage pulling his Richard III shapes and Steve and Glen keeping the riffs coming while Paul paced them all. Very tight and it looked like they were all having fun. At the start of 'Holidays In The Sun' (while we were singing 'I do like to be beside the seaside) Glen donned a knotted union jack handkerchief for his head and he and Steve did their almost Morris dance routine. At one point John asked if there was anyone in the hall under the age of 40 (to big jeers and cheers).
One of my favourites tonight was 'Problem' which just seemed so right for some reason - "The problem is YOU!". Another favourite was 'New York', with disgust in John's voice (and me thinking of the comments in his autobiography about the New York punks and heroin and the impact on Sid). And the final songs of the main set, of course, 'God Save The Queen' with the backdrop unfurled (John commented that he preferred the Queen Mum) and 'EMI' with everyone joining in the scathing chorus.
The encore was 'Bodies' followed by 'Anarchy In The UK', both of which sounded particularly savage with John throwing down the words like gauntlets, the audience joining in. Only one encore tonight (John again telling us not to be so shy in front of him). Such powerful songs and still powerful 30 years later.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
There's an article in it this week to trail the release next week and Noddy's looking good (although I'm not sure about that shirt). It's live and the track listing is:
1. Merry Xmas Everybody
2. Mama We're All Crazee Now
3. Gudbuy T'Jane
4. We'll Bring The House Down
5. Far Far Away
7. Take Me Bak 'Ome
8. Thanks For The Memory
9. How Does It Feel
10.Cum On Feel The Noize
The issue isn't so much about whether I've already got these songs in live format (and, I suppose, it depends on which live versions are on this CD, which I don't know but assume they're all available on the re-releases over the past year) it's about it being a success. I don't begrudge them for one minute for agreeing a deal with that paper to release the album, and I do want it to be a success.
The trials and tribulations of a fan...
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Last night was Sex Pistols night, planned with military precision based on my scouting mission when I saw the Maximos there a few weeks ago. Through the ticket barrier then the gauntlet of security, straight through the foyer to the merch stand (obviously), then double back to get bottles of coke for later and upstairs to the bar and into the hall to grab seats and stay there for the rest of the evening. I was surprised to see the front half of the seats already well populated but we still found good aisle seats which should, at least in theory, give us a good view. Additional spotlights were fixed to the railing that partially obscured the view of one side of the stage but that wasn't too bad (they were filming the gig). Purple lights were streaming all over the place as the hall gradually filled up. The support band were The Thirst who were loud and fast and I couldn't make out a word of the songs but that didn't matter. It was the main act I was waiting for, nervous and hoping they would shine.
Oddly enough we didn't clap and go wild for an encore and I'm not sure why. Everyone seemed to be expectant, waiting for more. Was it because we're jaded and know there'll be an encore because there always is? Or were we stunned into submission? Possibly a bit of both - I was waiting excitedly for more.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
This afternoon I was called out of one of my endless series of meetings to go and brief one of our ministers. He's a new minister so I'm not sure what he wants or how he operates. We shake hands and he says something like, 'we've met before, haven't we?' and I say 'yes, a few weeks ago when we spoke about the new information system'. That was a big meeting with a few people and all the men in suits, not a one to one with me in jeans and open-necked shirt. 'O' he says, looking at me a bit puzzled. So I say, 'it's the beard, isn't it?'. And he says, 'yes!' and starts relaxing. Then we both sit down and get on with the business.
Beards have many uses. Aren't they marvelous things?
I found Ojos when I was surfing for Latin music when I got back from Mexico last year - I didn't want traditional stuff, but something a bit more dangerous and Ojos fit the bill perfectly. Latin rhythms, lots of percussion, some hip-hop singing, blended 'world music' and some flamenco thrown in for good measure. And they're from Barcelona (one of my favourite cities). I *like* Ojos and their 'Techari' album is great fun.
I've got no idea who they are, what they've done before joining Ojos or even what they sing about (since I don't speak Spanish) but I love the overall sound they make. Seeing them live was a bit of an adventure - what on earth would happen?
What happened was an excellent concert, excellent music, great singing, an interesting slide show/video show on the big screen and fabulous flamenco dancing. The band came on and started playing and a woman in all her haughty proudness stood still at the front of the stage, spotlighted and waiting... and then she started moving, feet pounding and heels clicking, arms throwing dramatic shapes and her skirt started whirling, faster and faster she moved and I just stared. How do dancers get their feet to move so quickly?
As she left the stage on came Marina to great applause and cheers, Marina being the main Ojos singer. I thought 'what's Macy Gray doing here?' since she was dressed like Macy was the last time I saw her. When she opened her mouth it was plain she was no Macy, a great voice but very different. And from there on in it was one wild song after another for about two and quarter hours (my favourite being an extended version of the Indian tinged 'Todo Tiende').
Marina took most of the vocals but sometimes Maxwell (that good old Catalan name) took the lead with his hip-hop/rap stylings. All the band had their moment in the spotlight with solos and the three percussionists did a collective solo giving the rest of the band a break. They brought on various guests to either sing or play with them, a collective that can grow or contract as needed and the flamenco dancer appeared a few times throughout the set to do her stuff or join the backing vocals. A great spectacle of colour, sound and motion, Marina and Maxwell prowling the stage exhorting the audience to move and sing.
Ojos de Brujo were great fun and I'd definitely see them again. A gig in Barcelona would be an interesting experience...
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
After two support acts the band came on stage and there was Brian in a red Trinidad football top that only stayed on for the first three songs. I have no idea what songs Jesse was playing but I bet the drumming sounds very different on the recorded versions - Brian is a force to be reckoned with and it was noticeable from the first few drum beats that he is a drummer with a capital D. No thrashing away for the sake of it.
The third song had lots of cymbal and at one point it was crash wallop crash wallop and then a gentle tap on the third cymbal, almost unnoticed but simply highlighted that space in the song very effectively and thoughtfully. I was listening to the drumming, not the singing or the guitars. He's also an excellent showman, arms whirling putting heart and soul into the music and the performance, giving us someone to watch on stage. The guitarists and keyboard player just seemed to sway occasionaly but Brian was up and down off his seat, arms moving, body moving, a spectacle to watch and enjoy.
Jesse's songs did nothing for me and his rambling 'stream of consciousness' talk in between songs got a bit irritating but he clearly has a fan base and they love him. Towards the end of the show he climbed into the audience and, after getting everyone to sit down, happily wandered round talking to the crowd. That was an interesting sight. The only song I recognised was 'Death or Glory'.
I was all for leaving during the encore when Jesse went acoustic but Chris wanted to stay a bit longer and I am so pleased we did. Back came Brian and the band for a final wild song that ended with Brian being very rock and overturning his drum kit before leaving the stage. When the lights went on and people were leaving he popped out to salvage his kit and then had a brief chat with some of the young folks who were obviously there to see him. I hesitated and missed the moment and he vanished back to sort out his kit.
Drat, I thought but we went out to the foyer where Jesse was signing and saw Brian again near the door chatting to someone and Chris engaged him and asked him to sign his 'Yes Virginia' CD which gave me time to get my copy out so Brian could sign the painting of him on the inside sleeve, just as Amanda signed hers when I met her in August. He was clearly in a rush but he was all smiles and chatting, happy to sign and when I said I could tell he was drumming he said thanks, put his hands together and bowed with a grin on his face and then shook my hand. Wow. I've now been kissed and slinked on by Amanda and I've shaken the hand of Mr Viglione. I am happy. He hadn't put his top back on when he came out to the cool foyer so I hope he doesn't catch a chill or anything.
In 'Mandy Goes To Med School' Amanda sings that when she is unavailable her partner Brian would love to take care of you, and says, 'He is a nice man/Thoroughly reliable/He's in a rock band/And he goes to med school....' and it's all true except for the last statement. He *is* a nice man. And very polite. Thanks for being so nice, Brian.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Does it sound odd to say I feel proud of her? She's not doing nostalgia, she's still challenging and producing excellent music. I saw her on Jools Holland the other night and she blew the other guests away with a flick of her hair. Hers was the most radical music, she was the most dramtic with the biggest stage presence and she was clearly putting everything into her performance. That was full-on Siouxsie and those other bands better not forget that lesson. If they're still doing it in 30 years time I'll be astonished.
Thank you Siouxsie, I'll remember the gift of 'Into A Swan' for a long time.