Still involved in some sprawlin' courtroom brawlin', so allow me please to tide us all over with yet another postful of online miscellanery, accumulated over the past month or so, in no particular order:
- ". . .and the horse jumped out and ended up surfacing a plastic explosive that went off right under my face."
Sarah Polley, 17 years on, corresponds with Terry Gilliam on the perilous experience of having been the child lead in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (a film I persist in thinking more sinned against than sinning). [Via Defamer]
- "I sit in a room at the EMI offices with a man guarding me, presumably in case I try running home with it, thereby committing the crime of trying to listen to an album properly."
The Guardian catches a fleeting glimpse of the first new Kate Bush album in a dozen years and declares her to be "still seething with strangeness and brilliance." As if one would expect anything else.
- There's No Mania Like Ro-Mania:
Matt Welch -- once hailed in this space as "The Next Davy Jones" -- really wants you to read his Reason magazine article, "The Second Romanian Revolution Will Be Televised", now available online. And you should. It resembles one of those good, long New Yorker pieces on faraway places with strange sounding politics, except that it omits the East Coast pomposity and such.
- Two fine jazz-related posts from the Spectator's Zenga Longmore, writing at The Social Affairs Unit Weblog:
First, the mysterious tale of Jelly Roll Morton and the Voodoo Curse. "As the self-styled inventor of jazz, [Morton] wore diamonds in his teeth and owned over two hundred tailor-made suits." He burned them all:
In desperation Morton visited a voodoo woman who told him the only way to break the curse was to destroy all his clothing:
I always had a lot of clothes and the stack I made in my backyard was way over the top of my head. I poured on the kerosene and struck a match. It like to broke my heart to watch my suits burn.
In another item, Ms. Longmore considers the unfortunate post-War American symbiosis of Jazz and Heroin:
After the Second World War, the image of the happy-go lucky jazz musician undertook a horrific transformation. No longer did the world associate jazz with jollity and Fats Waller-style wit. By the late forties, the idea of a jazz player was that of a tortured heroin addict. Headlines such as Hey Ho Billie Holiday Arrested Again on Narcotics Charge sprinkled the headlines of the daily newspapers. One wonders what triggered this bleak state of affairs.
"[T]he sinister Miles Davis" is involved, naturally, albeit more as a carrier than a cause.
- Bonus Opera Content!: Elsewhere at the Social Affairs Unit, David Conway reviews the Covent Garden premiere of Maskarade, the little-performed-outside-of-Denmark 1906 comic opera from the great Danish symphonist (a personal favorite of mine), Carl Nielsen. Mr. Conway is not favorably impressed and his accusatory finger points firmly at the composer:
The plot, which is so thin as to make Fledermaus appear like a work of Immanuel Kant, requires above all, if it is to sustain an evening, two qualities which Strauss J. (and R. for that matter) possessed in abundance but Nielsen totally lacked – wit and romance.
The sign language interpreter stage right apparently displeased him as well.
- "My sense of collegiality with those of similar sensibilities coupled with the voice I find in producing this collage have acted as a great anodyne for megrims, funks and other assorted black dogs of a chemical, tempermental and/or situational variety."
This Fool wishes a most cordial Happy Fifth to that constant doorway to wonderments, wood s lot.
- Believe you me, my gentle friends, that your life will be immeasurably improved by adhering to the risk management practices to be found in this compendium of Good Advice to be Found in British Folk Songs. E.g.,
If someone says that he’s planning to kill you, believe him.
If someone says he’s going to die, believe him.
Avoid navigable waterways. Don’t let yourself be talked into going down by the wild rippling water, the wan water, the salt sea shore, the strand, the lowlands low, the Burning Thames, and any area where the grass grows green on the banks of some pool. Cliffs overlooking navigable waterways aren’t safe either.
To which I might add: if a hideous crone of apparent supernatural abilities offers you raiment and riches if only you will Sit in Her Lap and Be Her Own True Love, take her up on it. The alternative is even less pleasant.
[Link via Belle Waring at Crooked Timber.]
- And in Conclusion . . . Something Kinky:
Whether you take the recommendation of native Texan Cowtown Pattie, or the recommendation of distant Schenectadeluvian David
JackalopeGiacalone, y'all should amble to the Official Site of the Independent Texas Gubernatorial Campaign and Marching Society of musician, mystery writer, and action figure Kinky Friedman and view his proud and patriotic Kinkytoon. It is the most amusing political ad since Arianna Huffington's [no longer available] Arnold-in-a-Hummer spot.
No poker-playing dogs were harmed in the making of this picture.