Tuesday, January 24, 2006

MSHB, Lubitsch, J. Strange

Just popped my Wikipedia cherry by expanding and updating the Maher Shalal Hash Baz entry. Am now listening to their compilation album From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt), the first fruit of their relationship with Stephen Pastel's Geographic label. If you've never listened to their fractured, fragile punk jazz, then do so. Now.

New Belle & Sebastian album next month, Stephin Merritt in March. Things looking a bit cheerier musically speaking. Will be in London Feb 12-18. Any gigs or other manifestations of wonder scheduled for that week, do let me know.

Also... last night watched Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (1943), one of those things I'd always thought I'd seen on a Sunday afternoon on BBC2 when I was about eight, but probably never did. It has it's moments, but looks distinctly coy now. On the other hand, one can only admire Lubitsch's ability to succeed in the face of fuckwitted censorship. It's the story of a man who asks to be admitted to Hell because of his own serial adultery; however, thanks to the Hays Code, the words "Hell" and "adultery" are never used. Classy.

And have just started Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which feels uncomfortably like something else (Dark Materials, Artemis Fowl) that's arrived in the H*RRY P*TT*R slipstream, but I'll give it a go anyway.

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