Sunday, 28 February 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
I've just got hold of a copy of Swithering by the poet Robin Robertson. Here's something pertinent he said in 2008:
"Art is difficult and I don't see why we should shy away from it. We live in such a disposable age that anything that needs a second thought is ignored. We are missing out on the real sustenance."
And here's a touching poem by Robertson:
Treading through the half-light of ivy
and headstone, I see you in the distance
as I'm telling our daughter
about this place, this whole business:
a sister about to be born,
how a life's new gravity suspends in water.
Under the oak, the fallen leaves
are pieces of the tree's jigsaw;
by your father's grave you are pressing acorns
into the shadows to seed.
This poem is from the collection, A Painted Field.
Two of a perfect pair. Both sadly departed.
First up, the widescreen groan of Australian poet David McComb and his band The Triffids, accompanied by one of the naffest videos out there, but bear with it for a glimpse of McComb lip-synching in a field, looking like a lost soul. What a grand song.
Secondly, an example of great musicianship and an inventive, questing spirit from John Fahey, one of my favourite guitarists. An errant yet gifted man, by most accounts.
This clip has a lovely, hesitant introduction in the days before television sanded off the edges of a performance and became a slicker vehicle. A simple song, yes, but you try playing it!
Friday, 19 February 2010
Ladies and gentlemen, Lester Beall
I was looking at some Jan Tschichold (master typographer) layouts and then I saw this chap's work.
It was indicative of its time and although indebted to others, this has no impact on my enjoyment of it.
Monday, 15 February 2010
I was at a woman's house once and I wandered over to her pile of CDs to have a nosy, but she rightly admonished me for my typically-male habit. She said something like, "Don't go sniffing around and judging me by my taste in music - men always do that and make mental notes about my psyche". At least, that was the gist. Ever since, I've reigned in my eagerness to inspect people's belongings the first time I visit their house.
I'm also reminded of Tracyanne Campbell's lyrics on Camera Obscura's Swans: "No surprises in the record collection/You must've thought I was someone else", which is both a sad and withering song. The first time I heard it, it gave me a pang in my chest.