Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Freak Outing

James Luther Dickinson - "O How She Dances"

Last night my parents took me to a travelling sideshow. Red velvet curtains swung open, and out paraded the usual fair; the contortionists, the acrobats, the stretchy skinned waifs. There were also, of course, the girls from this song; the exotic girls dancing to sweeping strings, who kicked painted toes at the ceiling and who's bras fluttered confetti when taken off. But what caught my attention was a dwarf on the sidelines. He was just waiting stealthily in the wings, doing his own thing, nonchalantly out of the limelight. All great and fine, except his own thing was insane. Throughout the first half, he stomped around in a kilt, deliriously alternating his actions between licking lightbulbs, pulling party poppers and stapling playing cards to his face. And then after the interval came his solo piece in which, to 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy', he pushed a fluorescent tube bulb up his bum before proceeding to attach a Henry Hoover on to the end of his dick, a manic glint in his eye as he thrusted his crotch at the crowd. He stole the show. My mother's conclusion to the whole experience was that it reminded her of a doll she had when she was younger, who's hair would grow if you wound it's arm around.

Click here to watch Tod Browning's 1932 film 'Freaks'.

Radio Trinidad Transmission #4

Jeanne Demetz - "Calypso Daddy"

Instant Replay!

Learn and then unleash this routine in a public place, maybe in the office whilst giving a presentation, and add a surreal interlude to somebody's day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Downriver Revival

Junior Mays Group - "Round N Round"

The Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - "Sherburne"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If You Gotta Go, Go Now

Fairport Convention - "Si Tu Dois Partir"

Wildwood NJ (1994)

Ruth Leitman takes you down the shore to Wildwood, New Jersey, the last great blue-collar carnival town of America. Away from their parents for the first time, rangy girls barge around the boardwalk like baby elephants, scouting for boys and hedonism or else spraying each other with Mace and insults. From grandmothers to go-go girls, the women of Wildwood offer flakes of their lives to an all-female crew. With tales of Wildwood honeymoons, virginities lost to boardwalk strangers, fistfights and babies - these women know they’re funny but don’t realise how much so. The sartorial choices of 90s America are also comic (halo scrunchies/shoulder-less shirts) but, moving beyond the big hair and press on nails, their frank anecdotes serve to provide a snapshot of a place and its people. Filmed on Super 8 for television, Leitman really captures the buzz of the boardwalk’s rides, lights and come-ons so that you can almost sense the dizzy escapism offered by the sea. It’s no wonder that, no matter what, these girls return to Wildwood, year after year, as they grow up and grow old.

Clip after the jump.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dames d'Afrique

Noviciat De Soeurs Missionaires De Notre-Dame - "Yesu Ka Mkwebase"

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou - "The Homeless Wanderer"


A scene from À Tout Prendre (1964) by Claude Jutra. Two winters ago, buried in some brutalist concrete campus in Montreal, I watched this film on VHS one evening for an essay due in the next morning. The film is the only memory I have of any endeavor from that lost academic year. In a deserted library, under a fluorescent pool of light, I listened with clunky plastic headphones and took militant notes. This scene was the eye of a half-hearted storm. Outside snow fluttered from a chemically pink sky.

[PS: If anyone has a copy of this film, please let me know.]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shock Value

Transgressive trash king/film director/apple-of-my-eye John Waters reads his book 'Shock Value' out loud and proud. I shan't belabour my love of John Waters. It knows no bounds (pilgrimages to Baltimore etc.) and it's no secret that I yearn for him to be my mentor/grandpa/husband...