Sunday, January 30, 2005

Just what we needed.

Hieronymous Bosch action figures for the masses.
(Via ScottMcCloud)

Marjane Satrapi

Young Marji. I knew her when she was an obscure little comic artist, enlightening our days with the narration of her life stories.
Nowadays she's all about winning Angoulême and even has a page on
Oh, but she's still good.
(Via ComicsReporter)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Sometime around eight PM gmt+1 yesterday, somebody tried to get into my blogger account. Somebody pretty damn stupid, because apparently all he did was try to retrieve my password from the site's homepage. Which sends an automatic response to one of my email accounts. So whoever wanted to get in here would have also needed
1. to know that account's password
2. to know which of my many accounts the automatic response is set to be sent to, in the first place.

So this morning i get a nice email from blogger offering to give me my account information back. So kind of them.

These days some other sites i know have been experiencing problems, usually from nefarious outside influences. It's just typical that mine gets attacked by the dumbest of the bunch.

Or maybe it was just somebody i know, playing a joke on me.
Also typical.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

oh, and speaking of war...

Was in Trieste this afternoon buying tickets to next sunday's Grandmothers concert.
On the way out, i couldn't help but overhear this snippet of conversation coming from two old ladies walking in front of me:

"I assure you, back when Iraq was called Babylon, things were much better!"
(translated from triestino*)

My first thought was: several thousand rastafarians would probably disagree.

(And about that grannies concert: notice how the organizer's site differs in content from the venue's, mainly by promising such luxuries as reduced prices and Bunk Gardner. The former revealed itself inconsistent at the ticket counter, let's hope the latter doesn't do the same on stage.)

*original text: "Te digo, quando che l'ìraq se ciamava babilonia, iera tuto sai meio!"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Jones, Terry. Read, Go.

Mr. Jones, ladies and gentlemen. He wrote some editorials during the war. Those editorials are now a book. The war is now, alas, still a war. In this interview, he talks about both. And about sixteenth century english literature. But no good things in life are free, and this one wants you to sit through a commercial before reading. Ironic, yes. What would lascaux painters have thought if they'd known of this back when they were inventing pictorial communication?

Anyway, go read funny man say funny words. See moving images first! All go aaah.

(link via Monsieur Evanier, He Who Knows Everything)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

This just in

Pentagon reveals rejected chemical weapons: Widespread homosexual behaviour, enraged wasps, angry rats, halitosis.

(Via Killuglyradio)

Happy Birthday Captain Beefheart!

The 15th of January is Captain Beefheart's 64th Birthday! Which means it's Earth Day, for as everybody knows, Earth Day's date was chosen especially to fall on the Good Captain's anniversary of birth*! So if it's Earth Day, it means it's everybody's birthday! So Congratulations!
Here come the presents.
No, cake will not be served. Suit yourselves.

In utterly sparse order:

For Churra, here's Claudine Longet - Nothing To Lose(The Party version) (128kps 2.52Mb mp3). Since it's one of her favourite movies too, here's the original version of the Henry Mancini song performed by the elusive french actress and overlooked extremely professional singer. Not available on the official soundtrack. With Peter Sellers providing sound effects.

For Pelo, George Duke - Love (160kps 6.85Mb mp3), from the 1974 album Feel, this track features a certain Mr. Obdewl'X on guitar, an obvious(?) alias for that Frank Zappa guy.

To Gnapppo, he of the slow internet connection, something appropriately odd: Frank Zappa & Linda Ronstadt - Remington Electric Razor Commercial (128kps 0.86Mb mp3), a commercial back from the times when this kind of thing was allowed in commercials. Like Van Dyke Parks' Datsun commercial(128kps 0.93Mb mp3).
(further info on the razor commercial, and the correct spelling of "ronstadt", here)

To JJFlash, Richard Cheese - Star Wars Cantina (128kps 2.80Mb mp3). No explanation needed here.

Somebody else who will appreciate that last song is Mitko, who gets this little music file which has been nesting on my hard drive (and in my playlists) for a couple of months already: Stewie Griffin - My Fat Baby(Loves To Eat) (192kps 0.99Mb mp3).

Pino gets lucky this time around: Joyce - Aldeia De Ogum (192kps 6.31Mb mp3), further proof that the greatest musical instrument of them all is the human voice. I once played him this on the way to Gorizia, and promised to make him a copy. Which i of course forgot to do. So this is me making up for it.

What else? I had some nice beatles acoustic demos for Helen (whom i keep forgetting to ask if i can link to her blog), but i don't know how to convert them from .shn to mp3. But i'll probably have them up about this time next week.

There's another track i'd uploaded but forgot who it was for. So i'll just link to it anyway. The Incredible E.G.O'Reilly - The Birth Of Maudie (128kps 2.78Mb mp3), a pseudonym of Terence Trent D'arby, recorded and released in conjunction with the Neither Fish Nor Flesh album, his masterpiece (and one of my all-time favourites).

And finally, the next song isn't for somebody i know. It's for whoever will enter my life in the future. And, if possible, stay there. Francoise Hardy Avec Iggy Pop - I'll Be Seeing You (128kps 3.76Mb mp3). Allow me to be sentimental for once, it's Beefheart's Birthday after all.

That's all. And more than enough, if you ask me.
I've double-checked all the links, but if anything doesn't download right go ahead and complain. And i'll call you ungrateful little bastards.

*not true

Yves Klein - Saut Dans Le Vide, 1960

Yves Klein at UbuWeb

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Pesce e Patate

It seems that every year in the first weeks of august the small italian town of Barga(LU) in Tuscany holds the Sagra Del Pesce E Patate, which we may loosely translate as the Fish and Chips Festival.

Apparently, tuscan expatriates from Glasgow, or their descendants, come down in that time of the year especially to fry fish - an occupation that keeps them busy all year, back in Scotland. And they drink wine*, dance the Liscio and play Morra.

It is actually illegal to play this game in Italy due to the number of murders that take place during the game due to raised tempers but it is a tradition hard to stamp out here in the mountains.

It's imperative that i pop by next time this goes on if i happen to be in italy then, although my current plans lie a couple of continents to the left, down.
Anybody want to join me in this?

And speaking of fry-ups, this event was brought to my attention by the essential eggbaconchipsandbeans blog, making my mouth water since 2004. Also helped me choose the place where i'll have my Holy Fry-Up Breakfast next time i go to london.

*Fish & Chips with wine? Mon Dieu.

It just dawned on me

Could it be that Marco was joking yesterday when he said my room was surprisingly tidy?

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rome, Piazza del Campidoglio, 31 December 2004.
(Five minutes before being stopped by the police)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Grown Man Battles Natural Forces

"Our one concession to overt showmanship is the placement of Earl Dumier in the front row of the woodwind section, making it possible for the first time to view a grown man with a mod hair cut, struggling against the forces of nature to extract accurate intonation from an amplified Eb Contrabass Sarrusophone."

Mr. Zappa's presentation of his 1972 Grand Wazoo tour makes for a great read, even to those not usually accustomed to his music. His prose, on the other hand, was always clever, accessible and humorous.

Then, if you're interested, you can listen to whatever it was that he was going on about thanks to Gilles' Friday Boot: The Grand Wazoo Orchestra live in Berlin Deutschlandhalle, Sept. 15, 1972 (only available for about a week).

(as always, special thanks to Barry!)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Worin Besteht Mein Verbrechen?

I'm listening to Heiner Goebbels & Heiner Müller's Der Mann Im Fahrstuhl. Music should not be allowed to be this cool. Seriously.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Narcolepsy Bed Post: The one where you think you can see everything - Mixed Media (wood, objects), 2003

One of our eternal heroes, Dave McKean, is exhibiting a retrospective in Milan from the 15th of January to the 12th of February. This is being announced as "the first large retrospective dedicated in europe to this indoubtable master of multimedia", an assertion it's hard to contradict considering its over 400 original works exposed, plus uninterrupted projection of his short movies and video-clips, plus of course the presence of the man himself at the vernissage and at Spazio Oberdan on the 17th.
Unfortunately, this reporter will extremely probably not be able to be present at this much-too-short event, having blown most of his money over the past month on travels to bologna, modena and rome, books, comics and out-of-print Pizzicato Five cds. But i'm posting this so whoever might be interested in animation, design, illustration, short films or even just seeing something inspiring and stunningly unexpected can pop by if they're in the neighbourhood. Or plan to fly in from another continent, it looks like it's going to be that good.

Pictured below: The Week Before - Film Poster, 1998

(I had a chance to speak to Dave McKean in december, 2003 after the screening of some of his short films in Trieste. We spoke very briefly about The Artist as a demigod, his filmed works eventually being published on DVD - patience, young Jedi - and Django Reinhardt. Then i had my copy of Dust Covers autographed. Then some youngsters showed up with A4 sheets of white paper asking for a sketch, which he very politely dedicated the rest of his time to, making me feel like an idiot for not just asking him to draw something instead of wasting time with stupid questions.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Another Genesis

I've never been too concerned about the question of divinity, probably because my parents carefully omitted any mention of it during the early stages of bringing me up. Later, when i went to school, i would always be asked if i thought there was somebody above us. I would usually answer quoting Woody Allen's The Sleeper, which by then i already knew by heart:

Yes, but unfortunately it's the government

Just another example of why teachers thought i gave them problems: i got my theological opinions from early Woody Allen movies. But i digress.
Once religion classes at school stopped being compulsory, i just considered the whole thing Somebody Else's Problem and lived accordingly, never questioning myself about the eventual presence of Somebody Higher Up or Above Us all. After all, what difference would it have made?
This distance actually helped me become fascinated in other people's religions, considered as part of their culture. Back in high school, i was always reading about hebrew traditions. My eternal fascination towards anything islamic came slightly later, and still goes on to the extent that if i was someday forced at gunpoint to choose a religion, i would go for Sufite Muslim. It would at least give me time to escape while they look it up.

But anyway, the whole spiritual part of the matter always evaded me totally. I can't say i never acknowledged the presence of somebody "up there", i just never really cared.
Until today.
Starting today, i accept the presence of a superior being. For proof has been placed before my eyes. No, scratch that. Before my ears i mean.
I now declare that i believe in Somebody Powerful Above Us. And the power of this someone is the choice of music on supermarket loudspeakers. Nothing more, nothing less.
Therefore, i shall from now on refer to whoever puts the songs on while i'm shopping as "God".
Sometimes it's a vindicative god, like in the old testament, who curses you with a best of eighties mix while you choose your frozen lasagne. Other times it's an unpredictable one as in precolombian lore, giving you sixties classics or Celia Cruz. Celia Cruz while shopping: God has a sense of humor.

Today, i was lucky. I got the gentle, caring god which for some reason hardly ever shows up in the Good Books. For i was in great distress while searching for the ideal bag of chips, and He bestowed upon me Piece Of My Heart by Janis Joplin, followed by Genesis by Jorma Kaukonen(!), followed by the Beatles' The Fool On The Hill.
Followed by some announcements regarding who should go to which cash checkout, but i don't really consider that as part of the Holy Gospel.

So anyway, sometimes the right song comes on at the right moment, and in that moment you know you can only thank the supernatural force of He, Who Chooses The Music At Supermarkets. Praise be to He.

I would have uploaded the song again for everybody to enjoy once more, but i can't seem to connect to my ftp server. So i hope you already downloaded it the first time around, and can listen to it and feel as good as i did when it came on.