mardi 26 juillet 2016

She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea

After my trip to Margate at the weekend, I've been feeling inspired.  Thinking about Tracey Emin and her Margate landscape, the neon sign on the seafront ('I never stopped loving you'), gets me thinking about Frida Kahlo and Marina Abramovic and all those other brilliant visual women I love so much.  Turning pictures into stories.

I truly feel that I'm falling in love with Margate.  It reminds me of Brighton when I first arrived (and even then I only caught the tail-end of it myself).  The crackling energy and the freedom to do great things.  An outlaw feeling and a pioneering spirit.  It doesn't exist here in Brighton any more.  Is it time for a new adventure?

Running around south-east London today (the other neighbourhood in my life - I'm full of duality, these days), all I wanted was to be back in Margate.  I didn't want to leave; I've been feeling a strange combination of inspired and strangely lethargic since my return.

I pounded doggedly along the pavements, sweating a pleasing amount in the humidity.  Then when I returned, a joy kicked in, as sometimes it does.  I sang loudly in the shower, feeling ready to start writing like a demon.

This song, which made me laugh (more thoughts on its genius at a later date, perhaps).  Maybe it's time for a change; I don't know yet.

lundi 25 juillet 2016

I want...

  • To move to Margate
  • To do great things
  • To make a lot of money and quit this crazy scene (see also: Margate)
  • A new pair of sunglasses
  • The perfect pair of dungarees
  • World peace (or at least just a little bit)
  • Some cake, right now
  • To learn to stop worrying and love the bomb (so to speak)
  • To sleep better at night
  • To stop being so vain about not being vain (it's fxcking hard work)
  • To be able to say what I actually mean, probably starting with the occasional 'I am not OK'
  • More hours in the day (see also: making a lot of money, to buy me more time to do aforementioned Great Things)
  • My mum's dog Lily to live forever
  • Mutually exclusive things

vendredi 15 juillet 2016

I've been changing my mind

Feeling out of sorts in Pret a Manger, this song came on from out of nowhere.

I can't shake the feeling that it's some sort of sign.*

Genuine question: if everything is a sign, then is nothing a sign?

Still, I think The Cardigans are a really underrated band.

* Of what, I have honestly no idea.

ADDENDUM (1/8/16): I just went into the same Pret and THE SAME SONG WAS PLAYING. AGAIN.


vendredi 8 juillet 2016

Hopelessness (at the Barbican)

I would say I am a medium-sized Madonna fan.  I have been to see Madonna live exactly once, and it was kind of by accident.  It was on her Re-Invention tour, at Earls Court in 2004, when American Life had just come out (I still maintain that is a really underrated album, one which I still listen to a lot - Nothing Fails is up there as one of my all-time favourite Madonna songs; then again my favourite Madonna song is Secret, so what do I know?!).

Anyway, as we know, Madonna charges a small fortune for concert tickets.  Which I find kind of annoying and would have stopped me from even considering going to see her.  Except my friend Neil had an unexpected spare ticket and asked me at the very last minute to come along.

I arrived that night in typically/slightly blasé fashion and I left a total convert.  For weeks afterwards, it was all I could talk about.  I'm still so glad I went, and grateful to Neil (as for many things) for making it happen.

Similarly, yesterday - my friend Debbie posted on Facebook that she had two tickets to see Anohni at the Barbican for that very night, and she could no longer go.  Would anybody like the tickets?

Yes, I would!  I had read a bit about the new Anohni album and that was it.  I was intrigued, but mostly it was just a nice sunny evening in London and I fancied a night out at the Barbican.  I roped in my friend Meadbh and we went for cocktails first.

That day, as I had read more about Anohni and the new album, I started to get more and more excited.  In fact, I started to wonder if maybe I was somehow *supposed* to unexpectedly see this show.

I'm so glad I did.  It was like nothing I have ever seen before - truly moving, powerful and wonderful.  Genuinely inspiring.  I can't even explain how incredible it was.  It went by in a flash.   As the lights came on, we looked at each other as if to say 'is it really over?'.  We couldn't actually speak.

The feeling is still with me today and I think it will be for some time.  In some tiny way, I am changed - which is the great aim, really, isn't it?  This is what art at its true best can do to us.  I want to write masterpieces and change the world.  In small ways, maybe.

The album and the show are titled Hopelessness - and it is an apt title, but the purpose it serves is the exact opposite.

As described in an article in the New Yorker:

“Hopelessness” does not live down to its naysaying title. As I fell deeper under the spell of Anohni’s voice, I forgot about the logistics of creating a better world, and began thinking about what I demand from art, why I had scoffed at the grand premise of this album. Why doesn’t more art aspire to do something that seems impossible? “Hopelessness” won’t turn back history or undo politics—that would be a foolish presumption. But, like the most powerful music, it reminds us of the importance of dignity, integrity, and imagination. The world Anohni describes on “Hopelessness” is unrelentingly awful; it is our world. But at the center of it is a transcendent voice singing against heavy machinery, daring you to listen to the words coming out of your own mouth.

jeudi 7 juillet 2016

Cross Bones Style

I'm 35 now.  Sometimes I feel so powerful and sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by the world of adulting.

Sometimes the old things are the best things.  There's nothing like old friends.  And the songs - and books and films - that I love the most... well, some of them have been with me for a really long time now.

Today all I want is to listen to this and do dances.  Because we have all seen some unbelievable things.  Because... Come and rescue me.