Five Things: Wednesday 5th March

What’s Not to Love? Or Kill?
Looking for I don’t know, some picture of something, I noticed a few really interesting images come up in my google search, and that they belonged to a blog, Murder Ballad Monday. I’ve only just begun to delve into it, but if the post devoted to Norah Jones’ “Miriam” is anything to go by, it’s riveting. Highly recommended. A few weeks ago I caught NJ doing the revenge songs from the album this song was on, produced by Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, on Sky Arts’ Live From The Artists Den. Standing at the keys she had an intensity at odds with her rep and a terrific band to boot.

The Grit Stays in the Picture
Why do so few documentary makers retouch or clean up or adjust the exposure of the photographs they use? Studio City, a really likeable doc about the Van Nuys, Los Angeles studio where Buckingham Nicks met Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana recorded Nevermind  is particularly bad on the loRes/Overexposed/Scratch scale. I understand if you can’t source the originals easily, but the amount of “shit on the blanket” (as the printers used to say) was catastrophic. I could barely concentrate on the talking heads for exclaiming each time another 80s promo pic or candid studio Polaroid covered in gunk was lovingly panned over.

Accent – Up There With Meryl Streep!
Andre Benjamin catches Jimi’s voice amazingly well in All Is By My Side. And I’m not ashamed to say I’m really looking forward to this.

One paragraph from a lovely post on Robbie Fulks’ website about flying/snow/grandfathers/children/rock clubs and Fats Waller
“I must admit that I have had it with rock clubs. Airports have their hassles and troublesome personnel. But after navigating through them, something definite happens: you get from one place to another. After navigating the shoals of silliness at a rock club, you’re right where you started: obscure, penniless, and a little sad. It seems to me that the daily operational grind of these places – wiping down last night’s spilled drinks and body fluids with strong bleach, stocking the bar, transporting in the sound man and one dozen other miserably paid mortals, hauling in the drums and other big pieces, setting up hospitality, sound-checking, and so on up to load-out – is not commensurate to the social value of the service, which is to let young people exhibit their talents (usually imaginary) to an audience (also known as a handful of acquaintances cajoled and shamed into coming) in a professional production environment (!), so that the act can ultimately gain enough of a toehold, through multiple appearances in these disreputable sick wards, to climb to a height in the music firmament from which it can create artistic works in financial security and perform for acres of ecstatic consumers, forevermore, amen (and for this pipe-dream, there is no number of parenthesized exclamation points equal to the author’s derision).”

And on the anniversary of Richard Manuel’s death (March 4, 1986)…

Band

…a contact sheet from The Band at the Royal Albert Hall, June 1971 shot by my English teacher, John Cooke

Comments

  1. You obviously had a cool English teacher. Great post.

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