Heat, Sleep, Create
Can I wear my gloves yet? I still have them…I think. It is…getting colder? And it is wet and I do love them. This shall be the first year I have ever managed to hold onto a pair for a full solar cycle and it feels momentous. More importantly, it would feel like wearing gloves and one can do that thing where one peels them off and throws down a gauntlet upon entering any and every room. I donned them the other day and my palms complained that they were too warm. Another couple of degrees and I might try it again.
You would be done a disservice if I did not admit that I tried, really hard to write about a magazine on the contemporary jazz scene (I really did) but I could not find a handhold. This is my return to form in the foyer of next door but one. It looked up my street and I am perusing it now. ‘Create! Magazine’ feels immediately at ease with itself. Split into more introspective personal essays, insightful interviews, meaty feature articles and a load of incredible art crushed into all two-hundred odd glossy pages, it is a publication that is not only easy to navigate but worthy of your time spent doing so. I like art. Specifically, I like art that I like. I also understand that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean something is not art and that rule has served me well, thus far. Stand-outs for the Cat from Issue 16, include a profile on Robyn Blair Davidson and her candy art, a wonderful colour wash shot of a surfer by Kristin Hart that reminds me of that surfing book I found in the vault (we’ll get there), a rad homage to the ‘Dead Masters’ by Michele Melcher, and the most stunning Snow White collage you have ever seen by Sarah Perkins.
I believe I told y’all already how much I rated Natasha Lyonne as Nadia in Neatfig’s excellent ‘Russian Doll’ (back in February, in fact) and I’m equally certain I claimed that Anika’s cover of The Kink’s ‘I Go To Sleep’ was one of my key tenements of digging that show. If my recall is indeed correct, then we broke that strange, wee hours beauty down into its semi component parts, those belonging to The Pretender’s and Sia also. It had something to do with the piano, performance and production of the thing and I stand by all of that. Like ‘Russian Doll’, Anika’s self-titled album from 2010 (Invada, by way of Stones Throw Records) does not go where you think it’s going to go. It’s an impressive piece of work, recorded in just twelve days with zero overdubs…apparently.
Portishead’s Garry Barrow was on the money when he picked Anika to work with Beak - band/producers of the album - particularly on covers of Yoko Ono’s ‘Yang Yang’ and ‘Masters Of War’ by Mr. Zimmerman. The more I dig, the more I discover just how perfect a pick ‘I Go To Sleep’ was for ‘Russian Doll’, part of the promotional tour for ‘Anika’ having been part of the Portishead festival "All Tomorrow's Parties" in October 2011. It could be something to do with her accent too. By all accounts, she is British but I would love to know where her parents originated. There is a lilt and it could be down to her career prior to singing, as a political journalist, split between Berlin and Bristol. It might be a Euro spy deal. Maybe.
The Heat went into preproduction on Tuesday and so I thought it was high time for another shot of the Italian. If I haven’t mentioned already, I took Nico over there with me as well and he is now Heating. It’s true, that I have struggled to work with bassists who are not him in the past. Similarly, it is nice to have a friend and he is one of those. Marco managed to steal my camera while we were grabbing a pint in the Kray’s old place and he nabbed a rare shot of Yours Truly. I think I was elsewhere at the time. I went home not too long ago - hence the church types last Thursday - and caught what I think is an archetypal impression of that corner of the English countryside in which I gestated. This is that photo and it has a barn in it and that is good. I found some lovely stain glass shots too and this one stuck out. I shot it in portrait and I seem reluctant to do that these days, for whatever reason. It’s a process. Last but by no means least, there is another shot of The Miniature R with a watering can.
JD - TACOCAT