Things are coming out of boxes now. Things that I had forgotten I packed at all. Things that I had forgotten that I owned. It is a strange process and I can feel another, secondary, post-move clearout coming on. We have internet now and I think it works. Most of the time. There are new bath mats too and someone bought them in the most effective shade of green that you have never laid eyes on. It is the small things that keep me upright these days and I’ll take it. I am quite close to finishing season three of ‘Stranger Things’. Quite. I’m not there yet because moving but the TV is back on its stand now and there is time for those who make it. Spoil me and I shall augur you with my diamond mind.
Michael Colmer’s ‘Calendar Girls’ has been here before. I can’t recall why I didn’t direct your attention to it last time but it can’t have been for any good reason. Originally published in GB by Sphere Books (although this edition was put out by Treasure Press with Cameron Books in 1976), It features the work of artists and photographers including the unmistakable Gillette Elvgren, Zoë Mozert, Peter Barry, Allen Jones, Sam Haskins, Sarah Moon and James Wedge to name but a few. Many of these cats have appeared here, in this weird little corner of the internet but it’s nice to have them brought together in what is ostensibly a walk-through, from the delicate, prudish sketches of the early 1900s, through the tongue in cheek paintings of wartime America to the heady, high colour contrast calendars of the late 70s. The commercial calendar was originally a Victorian enterprise that Pirelli weaponised to maximum effect in the 1960s and ‘70s and it’s interesting to see how the artistic approach changed over time, as well as attitudes toward sex and sensibilities. Of course it’s true that attitudes have continued to change since then and that, for the most part, is a very good thing. However, these are the girls who adorned the walls of factories, offices, barracks, barber shops, garages and the inside of lorry cabs the world over and - as both a document of a specific evolutionary path and a collection of highly stylised imagery - it is not entirely without merit.
A regular patron of mine mentioned to me, in passing, his love for the New York Dolls. I believe ’t was the run up to Christmas and I had something like two metres [three] of rare ’n’ tasty books lying around the shop, awaiting for both a price and an appraisal, until which I was holding off on sale. There was this little bio on the Dolls and he desired to purchase said bio. Unfortunately, the price turned out to be…prohibitive. Fortunately, I file away information pertaining to people’s preferences in a dim corner of my flickering brain - usually reserved for vital pin numbers and passwords - and this slip of data floated to the top while I was digging underneath Brick Lane a few weekends in the past. It may well have been the very same expedition that led to the discovery of a certain Suzie Quatro record, one who’s virtues I look to espouse to you in not so many lunar cycles. The New York Dolls formed in NYC in 1971 and along with the Velvet Underground and The Stooges, they broke the early punk rock genre over their leather & leopard print knees. ‘Two Much Too Soon’ is one of the cultest of cult things from that time, ‘Showdown’ is my anthem and lo, while this pressing is a relatively recent thing (Mercury / Universal, 2017), it is clean, loud and the music still works as well as it ever fucking did.
The new DC animated series of ‘Harley Quinn’ looks like a banger. It has Kaley Cuoco in. And Alan Tudyk. We can be leaves on the wind. SDCC peoples got a new trailer last Saturday and they are definitely swinging for them adult hills with this. There are echoes of ‘Archer’, ‘Venture Bros’ - if you haven’t seen those fuckers’ tribute to Bowie then please avail yourself - and the like and I suspect they’ve got the balance right? That first trailer that emerged back in October of last year was equally tongue in cheek, with a fantastically dry cameo for the Caped Crusader himself and has its audience - i.e. Yours Truly - nailed to a T. In all likelihood, this shall be one of those shows that splits people into those For (Camp A) and those Against (Camp B). Because that’s most shows. One of the great things about this space as a space in space, is that if you’ve come this far, you have an increased percentage chance of being in camp A. You can roll for dexterity if you like but I am of the opinion that we’re in this together and you’re in here with me. In all honesty, I happen to straddle with one foot in the former and one foot in the latter because I am a fickle beast and I reserve the right to change my mind at any given moment. If you think that might be you also, then I’d give this one a solid, college try and we can talk about it later. If you can find somewhere to watch it, that is.
JD - TACOCAT