November 05, 2005



I am in Manchester, unable to work out the outgoing mail server, so I'll respond to this in public. I love love love the Cardinal record. The progress/decline implicit in my terse blurb is the same old ind*e lament, dialed back a bit. I mean, if it's Cardinal you're hawking, I'll do the merch table, seen? 1994 was right on the edge for me, a bit of possibly naïve utopia—all the teams looked strong, and the borders were porous. Anyone remember Sun Electric? Swell?

(Galaxy is number one for R&B in Manchester, they say. Rihanna's new single is apparently big with texters. Why don't I like Rhiianianaia? She's no Robbie. Oh, "Gold Digger." That's good. There's a second or two in the middle that haven't yet been burned into my cortex.)

Saw a London preview of Blue Man last night, first time since seeing it ten years ago when Clem joined the house band. Some bits are so brilliant—the pre-verbal baby/alien character of the Blue Man, the use of silence, black light and silhouette. Other bits wear thin—the goddamn tribal tube drumming, knocking pop choreography, using arena rock while "making fun" of it, the toilet paper barrage. If Simon McBurney got hold of the show, it could be really great pop theater.

My favorite museum, maybe anywhere, is the National Portrait Gallery. The first floor is small enough to feel comprehensible and doable, but curated with an intensity that packs a considerable critical take into the footprint. This "Self Portrait" exhibit is no exception. Loads of women artists I'd not heard of, including Suzanne Valadon, whose "Blue Room" is included. A model for Degas, she had the gall to go and be an artist herself. Also, self portrait by Sabine Lepsius, Berlin, 1885, rocking a boy's haircut and giving Sargent a run for his milky-eyed money.

The Tate Modern is housing an installation by Rachel Whiteread called The Unilever Series, which most museumgoers were translating as "all those white boxes."


Posted by Sasha at November 5, 2005 09:46 AM | TrackBack