Thursday, 17 December 2009

What's this? What's this?

What’s this? What’s this? There’s something in the air. Like all those corporate lackeys for whom ‘It’s Not Christmas Until I See The Coca Cola Advert’, I too have a portent by which I mark the coming of the festive season; and it too has absolutely nothing to do with the birth of baby Jesus. A boringly over-enthusiastic atheist and arch-anti-capitalist, when I see the BFI is playing Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas I get all giddy and fling open the sash windows to throw farthings at small boys, imploring them to run, run along to Tiny Tim’s house. Sure, Santa’s a sham and, actually, how’s about goodwill to all men all year round? But then, what's this? What’s this? The monsters are all missing, and the nightmares can't be found, and in their place there seems to be Good Feeling all around…

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The Oubliette rides out again...

Christmas is indeed coming but you can forget about throwing a penny in the old man’s hat; although the spirit remains the same, inflation has rendered this gesture of goodwill seriously scroogey. Indeed, it’s all about the giving, that warm feeling inside that money can’t buy: even so, it’s also the season of hope and though we expect it not, it’s always nice to get something in return. The Oubliette’s special seasonal event, therefore, is right on the money. Opening up the doors of the former Reader’s Digest HQ in Mayfair in signature style (squatting), they’ve also teamed up with The Connection at St. Martin’s to showcase the work of homeless artists. Plus, the Rambling Restaurant and the Colibri Quartet will be on hand all night to provide grub and music respectively - both completely gratis. Free food, a string quartet and charity; it feels so warm you could roast chestnuts on it...

Monday, 14 December 2009

White riot...

I just love it when something has been designed with a very specific purpose in mind but some brigand comes along and bastardises those original intentions. Think of the skaters at the South Bank; unexpected outcomes are often the most joyful. So how about a cinema in a former lap dancing club in Mayfair? The place is a palace, with poles, swings and shiny, shiny disco balls all still in situ; a large projection screen being the only non-original feature. Run by a vigilante squat crew of anarchists and artists known as the VHS Video Basement, to show solidarity with their comrades in Copenhagen, the new residents of the Puss in Boots Club are putting on a direct action double bill , followed by a discussion on violent resistance. The Battle of Algiers tells us it’s difficult to start a revolution, even more difficult to sustain one and still more difficult to win one; La Haine teaches that it’s not how you fall that matters but how you land; I say: I want a riot

Pop pickers...

The BBC’s Sound of the Year list is a very good guide to which artists are going to become annoying by the beginning of April, but it should by no means be considered an arbiter of taste. Apart from anything, the Corporation is responsible for about 80% of all radio output and it figures that the people picking the picks would also play them. Don’t get me wrong, I heart the BBC big time but it seems even they are not beyond the reach of the music industry mafia and their great rock n roll racket – that sonic scam. Which is why it’s so wonderful that a record label, of all people, would not only recommend other people’s artists but also leave loads of their own artists off their list of the top 60 albums of this year. Big. Of course, Rough Trade isn’t like other record labels, which is why they’re also offering free shots of Pimms whilst they play said albums every Thursday evening this month. It’s not quite Christmas without the commercialism but, hey, what’s more genuinely Christmassy than a good old fashioned drunk?

Monday, 7 December 2009

That Pale Blue Door...

Before I walked down a dodgy looking side street in Dalston, and through that Pale Blue Door with the peeling paint, I was an everyday sort of a fella. I paid my bills on time and looked both ways before I crossed the road. But then that door was opened – by a man in a dress – and my world changed. These days I walk across life’s lanes with abandon, not even caring if I get run down anyway, just enjoying the journey. In short, Tony Hornecker filled me with glorious grub as well as a thirst for fun. And for more; I’ve been back three times and have developed a distinct desire for drag, a tang for trannies, if you will. Absolutely fabulous then that the PBD crew are putting on a cross-dressing Christmas special, and even better that Tony’s imagination is being let loose under the auspices of the Architecture Foundation of London. Let’s raise a glass to it’s not being the only thing to be let loose this evening…