Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I got those old india blues

I simply must share this with you. These are clips from Nina Paley's upcoming film "Sita Sings the Blues." It is based on The Ramayana, the Indian epic about the love between the god Rama and his wife Sita. I think the animation is the most gorgeous I have ever seen and I will be first in line to see the entire film. Unfortunately. I may have to wait awhile. Apparently Paley is having a rather rough go of getting the rights to use the old American 20's tunes she uses in the film. Sigh. Let's all wish her luck, no? In the meantime, feast your eyes...

(By the way, the music at the very beginning of this first clip is performed by my favorite Rajastahni group, Musafir)

Monday, December 22, 2008

thank god it's not christmas

I'm not a Christmas-y type of gal... and the omni-presence of Christmas music this time of year comes just short of infuriating me. But in my usual trolling of YouTube I did find three tunes of a Christmas-y flavour that I actually enjoy. So I thought I would step outside of my comfort zone and share them with you now.

Bowie & Bing... an unlikely match made in heaven, no? I find Bowie's voice particularly resplendent in that song. And their banter at the beginning is just precious.

SLADE! I adore Slade... Noddy Holder is one of my favorite rock singers ever (and dig those CHOPS!). This song is an absolute classic in the UK but of course... we know nothing of it here. Oh, if only all Christmas songs rocked this hard.

Oh yes! My beloved Sparks! This clip contains two tracks, This Town and Thank God It's Not Christmas (one of my top three Sparks tunes). Christmas starts around the three minute mark but This Town is definitely worth watching as well.

For the sake of honesty, there are two additional Christmas songs I enjoy. The first is The Bells. It is a glorious thing indeed to hear in person a good choir blend their voices together to weave the tapestry of this song. And I simply adore the song What Child Is This. This has always been my favourite Christmas song, since the days when I was a child attending candle-lit Midnight Masses with my mother. This song, to this day, always causes me to erupt in chills. It is so very dark & gentle... midnight blue punctuated by stars... just the way I wanted to picture the Nativity.

Dear friends, I wish to end this Yule-tide post by saying how very thankful I am for you all. As far as friendships go, I am the richest person in the world. I am constantly amazed at the talented, creative, compassionate and down-right amazing folks the Universe has placed in my life. Know that I do not take you for granted. Have a wonderful Yule and come over to my house for some mulled wine!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

flotsam & jetsam

Here I am again under lock-down in drug study, which allows me plenty of time to lurk about on the internet. I have found many interesting bits in the last couple of days... shall I share them with you?

Ahhhh.... beautiful, glorious David Tennant. Who is David Tennant? In addition to being one of many of my future ex-husbands, he is also the Tenth Doctor. So what is he doing in the photograph? Apparently Polish pianist André Tchaíkowsky donated his body to science under one condition, that his skull be used in a Royal Shakespeare Company of Hamlet. The trouble came when all potential Hamlets refused to use the real human skull in the Yorick scene... that is until the baddest of bad ass Time Lords stepped up to plate. If you've seen what this man can do to a Dalek, it should be no wonder that a wee little skull didn't scare him.

I've been listening to a heap of George Jones lately, so I quite enjoyed the music, haircuts and awesome awesome outfits in this clip:

Here's another one of my favorite ol' timey country tunes:

Click here for a lovely optical illusion. Hint: the slower you go, the better it works!

As usual, I have been obsessively watching Sparks clips. I was delighted to find this one, Big Surprise. I love Russell Mael's precious little outfit, but Ron Mael trumps it with a surprise of his own towards the end of the clip. Dig. It.

Here's an amazing poem written by an amazing man, my dear brother Mr Jack Meriwether.

Lesson from a Walk Signal

almost stumbled off the curb
only three PM, still i squint
to make out the constellation of the humanoid hieroglyph
saying 'it's ok to walk now,
you will not be barrelled over
by the intricately forged pieces of metal that
left so many other, more ignorant creatures with just 2 dimensions.

'they will leave you alone, look, this is how you walk, like this
it's ok to walk like this or any way you choose, or to stay where you are
for awhile longer, but make up your mind child
or i will flash you a red hand and you shouldn't walk
but if you do, you must hurry
and if you don't i will stay like this,
a red hand,
and offer no protection as one of your
dimensions is taken from you
for good.
but now it's okay to walk
and my professional opinion is
you should do it now.'

i step tentatively
off the curb
before i realise i've not been on the other side of this street
since 1999 or so and
will i remember my way around?
but i don't even wait for the warning hand
i've too much to lose by standing still
on a street corner
even at 3 pm
even if i might run into somebody over there i'd rather not see
even if i trip over the curb,
there is too much fire,
too much fire behind me to stand still now

I certainly wouldn't mind hanging about on a beach wearing fancy necklaces with these fellows:

One last thing... get an eyeful and earful of what I am in store for on New Years Eve:

Auto Club, dust off your cowboy suits & best hats because we're a-comin' !

Monday, December 1, 2008

photolog: comanche

A few images from a wonderful, beautiful, and entirely necesary weekend in Comanche...

An axe-wielding maniac...

and he knows how to use it.

Getting The Beast stuck in the mud up to its frame sure was some fun.

Even a man-made lake offers up many treasures.

A message in a bottle without a message.

The Garfish's mummy.

My favourite brothers.

Much thanks to Tim, Dennis & Jared for a weekend that allowed me to release much and gain so much more.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

rags of light

So much loveliness... I am quite overcome.

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

new art: ~sparks~

Here is my latest drawing... I am rather pleased with it. It's done using a red Prismacolor pen (a true god-send to my drawings), a silver paint pen and bits cut out of a silly fashion magazine. I gotta say, that paint pen is an AWFUL lot of fun... and quite useful for penning improptu missives on the walls of bar restrooms. Anyway, this piece is called ~sparks~ and here's why. I've been bat-shit CRAZY over the band Sparks for the past few months and that obsession is only deepening. When I was working on this piece, I tore the piece that lines the bottom from one of the many trendy, glossy magazines about Austin "culture" that seem to be laying about everywhere. I noticed on the left side of the torn portion the word "sparks" showing thru from the other side! It was to glaring of an omen to be ignored, so I traced the word backwards and the drawing was christened.

And just for fun, here is a Sparks video:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the thrill of having nothing

I thought I might wile away a portion of my morning sharing some bits that have been of interest to me lately.

First, after many seeking years, I was FINALLY able to see Tony Gatlif's spectacular film Latcho Drom. The form of the film is very similar to another one of my favourite films, Baraka, in that there is no "plot" in the traditional sense... image and sound combine to tell the larger, greater story of the human experience as a whole. Latcho Drom tells the story of the Rom (Gypsy) diaspora and uses traditional gypsy musicians to trace its linage from its ancient roots in Rajasthan (northern India), through Turkey, Romania (where we encounter my beloved Taraf de Haidouks) and onward till we end with flamenco (a decidedly gypsy art form) in España. On a personal level, there is no music I adore (and devour) more on this planet than traditional gypsy music, therefore finally seeing Latcho Drom after years of pining for it was an incredibly emotional & fulfilling experience for me. So here I share a couple of clips with you. First, I have a special love of the music of the gypsies of Rajasthan. The music, like Sufi qawwali singing, has a tendency to put me in a trance. And the dancing, costumes, moustaches and showmanship are second to none. Here's a small taste:

But do have a look at this absolutely amazing clip. That is my idea of paradise.

One more from Latcho Drom. Here is one of my favorite pieces of film ever, the incomparable Taraf de Haidouks in their home village of Clejani, Romania:

While on the subject of gypsies, here are two more. First the fabulous Hungarian group Parno Graszt:

And the equally fabulous Peter Sellers:

Since I've moved to Texas, I have gained a real appreciation for traditional Mexican Mariachi & Ranchero music. Especially Ranchero... my favourite Ranchero song is this one, Cucurrucucú Paloma sung here by Pedro Infante:

On a more personal level, I have been going through a period of acute heartbreak. It is not necessary to share the details here, but it has been a most trying time. Whenever I find myself deep in the sweet melancholy of heartbreak, I am only able to listen to the Tindersticks. I have been leaning on them heavily in the past week and they continue to keep me upright. I was delighted to stumble upon this amazing video for No More Affairs:

As far as raw passion goes, I feel that the No More Affairs video surpasses even the great Nick Cave/Polly Jean Harvey epic Henry Lee. And you should know that I am hopelessly in love with the singer from Tindersticks, Stuart Staples (however he is not the cause of my current heartbreak). I have a fantasy of running into him in some dark, hidden bar in Prague, having a magickal night over cobblestone streets, one kiss at dawn, then never seeing him again.

Now for something completely different, here are the Brothers Mael aka Sparks:

I've been familiar with them for years, but since I had the distinct fortune of finding three Sparks records at the Totalfest Record Swap this year, I have been obsessed. Hell, here's another one:

I can't resist sharing this one... dear, beloved Beirut in Paris:

As someone who has actually spent some time contemplating the mechanics of morning glory vines, I found this video quite wonderful:

And, dear friends, I leave you with this gem, a clip from Werner Herzog's Auch Zwerge Haben Klein Angefangen: