Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ten Years of Pages: Ten Posts Nothing - Or Little - to do with Poetry

There actually is very little that has nothing to do at all with poetry on Pages. It is a poet's blog, after all, so even the less obvious posts might be tangentally linked to poetry. But here, in order of posting, are the least relevant to the stated themes.

1. Django Reinhardt's Guitar: talismanic object.

 2. Tony Parsons: a friend celebrated

3. The Blind Lemons: Tony Parsons' band celebrated (there is another post which has a photo of me reading 'Smokestack Lightning' along to the band. They had used the text in performance, but this is the only time I read it myself, the band softening to allow my voice to be heard). Tony and I used to play the blues together as Little Albert Fly.

4. This is probably the first post where the blog is talking about itself, in this case its archiving by the British Library. I have put in a recent link to that. (Something I am doing a lot is augmenting earlier posts with new images and fresh links.)

 5. Frank Sinatra, a great clip of Frankie and Jobim. Or it was. The Estate snatches video off of YouTube quicker than you can say ‘FBI Tribunal!’ so it isn't there now. Go onto YouTube, type in Frank Sinatra and see what's up there for the next few days. Any way for now, try one of these. They seem to be identical adverts so may survive the purging for a while.

This post has little to do with poetry, but that 'little' is that the lyrics of the song were written by a poet, AND it's a curious fact that one of the de Campos brothers wrote a book on bossa nova and its opposition to the bel canto tradition. Which is why Sinatra is having difficulty holding back in a way the early, saintly Astrud Gilberto had no trouble achieving. Sinatra said: 'The last time I sang this quiet I had laryngitis'; the trombonist on the Jobim-Sinatra album said: 'If I play any quieter, I'll be playing out the back of my head'. It's hard (I've tried, a legend in my own bath time.) Here's the original post:

'What the hell's that hanging round the back of my microphone?'

6. An act of simple solidarity with Pussy Riot.

7. Another reminder of my Malcolm Lowry activities as a Firminist. David Markson is a good read in anything but the conventional sense. His novels made me never to want to read another novel, a great achievement and one I might manage to live by one day. Until then, plough on through the procedural tedium of so mcuh contemporary fiction.

 8. It's a shame that the only video of me singing (other than the 'Smokestack Lightning performance at the Bluecoat which involves a little vocalising ) is one of my inebriated New Year's Eve sessions with Steve on piano. At least this wasn't the new year some of the party spent the night in A+E! (That's another story, as they say.)

9. My funeral eulogy for my father. 

10. Memories of a good gig (even if the jerking bass player on this Later gig is not actually the one from the band). I have been subscribing to The Wire for a couple of years now and it is responsible for me finding all kinds of interesting bands and artists, mostly new: The Necks, Nicole Mitchell, Josephine Foster, The Glasgow Improvisors' Orchestra, the Fire Orchestra, Alasdair Roberts, Matana Roberts, John Butcher, The Thing, The Cherry Thing, Matsuo Butoh, Peter Brotzmann, Mary Halvorsson, Thumbscrew, Tyshawn Sorey, Steve Lehman and this group, The Bad Plus.