Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 5th September

Black Tie White Noise
Evening Standard, last week. Bowie disputes claims made in the Observer by the V&A that he is co-curating the [Bowie Costumes] show. “Contrary to recently published reports: I did not participate in any decisions relating to the exhibition. A close friend of mine tells me that I am neither ‘devastated,’ ‘heartbroken,’ nor made ‘uncontrollably furious,’ by this news item.”

Really?
Interview with Kevin McDonald, Director of Touching The Void and Marley: “Q: Why do you think Marley’s music has proved so enduring? A: He wrote incredibly good tunes. Bob wrote more standards than almost anybody else, apart from Lennon and McCartney.” Did he? Standards? I Shot The Sheriff, Redemption Song, One Love, Three Little Birds, No Woman, No Cry, sure, but are his songs covered regularly, in the way that standards are? Marley’s number 211 on the SecondHandSongs database, a pretty comprehensive list of the most-covered songwriters, some way below Ozzy Osbourne and Marvin Gaye.

I Can Hear That Whistle Blowin’
My friend Steve Way on Duquesne Whistle: “Dylan vid weird. Like Bob is doing a phone ad song, and the director is doing a Sundance lo-fi Korean remake.” True say, Steve, but the world may be a better place for having this song in it—the chorus and thick, dirty riff are just joyous. Duquesne is a city along the Monongahela River in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Earl Hines, legendary jazz pianist, was born there. He signed my autograph book once.

I love that—”To, Martin, keep with it” written by Sinclair Traill, editor of Jazz Journal, who then joked around with Earl and they ended up signing their names as Sinclair Hines and Earl Traill…

“Even Cathy Berberian Knows/There’s One Roulade She Can’t Sing.”
The wonderfully titled Berberian Sound Studio featuring Toby Jones opens this week, named for Cathy Berberian, American soprano of the avant-garde. With Umberto Eco she translated works by Jules Feiffer and Woody Allen into Italian. You couldn’t make that sort of detail up. Eco nicknamed her magnificathy. Steely Dan paid their own tribute in the lyric above, from Your Gold Teeth on the Countdown To Ecstacy album.

Musical Marylebone
A few streets separate Joe’s monstrous urban flyover and John’s rather luxe pad. Of course, John’s background was rather more flyover than Joe’s…

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