VISUAL OF THE WEEK (Personal)
Guitars out of Storage!
VISUAL OF THE WEEK 2 (Public)
Wall of musicians of colour from an fine-looking exhibition, African Industrial Revolution (A.I.R.) by e-studio Luanda, an artist collective and studio complex founded in 2012 in the Angolan capital by Francisco Vidal, Rita GT, António Ole and Nelo Teixeira. Impressed by the range from Ellington to Martina Topley Bird, I was annoyed that I’d managed to miss it.
LORD, WON’T YOU BUY ME A LONNIE HOLLEY TICKET
My habit of buying tickets to gigs I know nothing about continues. Anyone fancy coming to see Lonnie Holley and Alexis Taylor on Monday night at the RFH? Just drop me a line at email@example.com if your interest is piqued, as mine was, by this paragraph on the Meltdown website:
“Lonnie builds a bridge between Gil Scott-Heron and Alice Coltrane’s Turiya Sings. He approaches both his visual art and his music by reacting to what is in front of him: his music is about the very moment in which it unfolds. Lonnie’s words, on the other hand, are based on his experiences. His endless energy and wild curiosity are capturing hearts and minds in the worlds of both music and fine art.”
I have no idea what that means, but I’m sure as hell up for it. The website also notes that “Lonnie Holley was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1950, the seventh of 27 children, and claims he was traded for a bottle of whiskey when he was four.”
THINGS FOUND ONLINE
St Anthony: Rather wonderful tribute poem/track by Mike Garry & Joe Duddell to Tony Wilson, delivered with the kind of front that only Mancunians seem to have. How much would you love to have this done as a tribute to you after your death?
Demented Bobness: Graham sends a Weird Al Yankovitch Dylan parody, only using all-palindromic lyrics (my favourite is “Lisa Bonet ate no basil”) allied to a creditable Highway 61 pastiche.
The Beatles at Shea Stadium: Mark Myers (again) points the way to something interesting… a little-seen documentary from ’66. “As for me, I was 9 in 1965 and lived in Manhattan. While I didn’t go to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium, I probably would have gone if I had had a sister. What I do remember about that summer was the universal passion among girls and boys for all things British. Like every other preteen, I saw Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady… London, for me, was imagined as a Candyland of the mind… on the radio, British artists such as Petula Clark, Herman’s Hermits, the Rolling Stones, and Tom Jones had hits. I wanted to go downtown to meet Mrs. Brown’s lovely daughter and seek satisfaction, whatever all of that meant.” It’s full of wonderful stuff: nine minutes into the film, the Discotheque dancers take the stage after Murray the K and run through every dance step that is now regularly parodied when people think of 60s dancers. Absolutely hysterical. The voice-over interviews with the lads are terrific – street smart and eloquent in equal measure. I loved the sound guys behind the stage – the film cuts to them at around thirteen minutes, as King Curtis and the Kingpins are playing. As a portrait of the times it’s top-notch.
TITLE OF THE WEEK
News that David Rawlings has a new album, with the great title, Nashville Obsolete, prompts me to listen again to his first under the rubrik of the Dave Rawlings Machine, A Friend of a Friend, especially its most luminous song, “Bells of Harlem”. Here it is in live form – a lovely song, beautifully played. Catch the guitar outro, a fabulous circular melody spinning to a hushed conclusion. For another terrific piece of Rawlings’ guitaring, check out “Ruby” from the same KEXP session, where he plays a flatly stunning solo in the middle, not to mention an beautiful set of harmonics before the last chorus. What I love about him is the fact he’s sui generis – there are obvious bluegrass antecedents, but really he’s created a parched flamboyancy all his own.