The Mortician's Beauty Parlour ..

is the somewhat flamboyant title of the newest novel by my newest friend, Ralph. Apparently, it's the first "outsider" British novel written, according to "experts", and employs several modes of narrative structure, a la Joyce. Ralph's an elderly regular at Pogo who I've managed to avoid (along with all vegan-frequenters) by hiding in the kitchen and incompetently cooking. But alas today I found myself at the helm of trying to pronounce tasty Polish dishes, and thus exposing myself to The People. Anyway, so Ralph spent his tea break teaching me about Film Noir of the 1940s (I have to see Val Luter's 'The Seventh Villain' and William Irish' 'The Phantom Lady') and their masterful use of suspense. He doesn't like French New Wave cinema (because it doesn't 'grab' him), although he does love Alain de Long's "The Samurai'. And apparently, Cornell Woolrich is the best crime thriller writer, ever. He reckons Hitchcock spoiled Woolrich's Rear Window screenplay by adding Grace Kelly into the equation. How could Kelly ruin anything? So essentially, despite not having a septum, and apparently purposefully writing something provocative in his book "to make women hate" this guy is rather wise. Although he could just be a great liar. This brings to mind the idea that 'telling stories is a euphenism for telling lies'.

A few weeks ago I went to see Jaap Blonk perform Kurt Schwitter's Ursonate at the Jerwood Space, part of the Cut and Splice Sonic Arts Network events. HIs bodily and vocal contortions were pretty impressive and somewhat disturbing; at one point he looked like he was choking on his own canine-esque emittions. It was interesting, but I felt that Schwitter's initial hope of shocking and provoking response from crowds at traditional salons of the 30s with these concrete sounds, was lost on an elite collective gagged and bound by the BBC microphones. The exhibition Dots and Loops on at the same place, is worth another visit though. It has a piece which visually documents sounds entering a microphone onto a large screen in front of it. And lots of interesting forms of notations. And, Raster-Noton wall drawings.

Also a little while ago, while walking home and admiring the relative leafiness of my zone 2 un-tubed suburb, I almost stepped on this cute misplaced creature. I didn't want to pick it up because my basic scientific knowledge reminded me that mother birds reject their kin if touched by humans. So I pointed it in the right direction, and it hopped to relative safety.

Brockley Bird

Tim Exile at Resonance FM on Saturday night was a welcome replacement for the tired Venetian Snares, if only for his shout-outs, BPM rate and mind-bogglingly complicated lap-top contraption which had different layers represented by rectangles and connected/activated by moveable cables. Perhaps these things are commonplace at Planet Mu, but my eyes had never seen one, and is still trying to reconcile its methods with Macromedia's Flash

This morning, grappling for audio accompanyment for the 453, I found an Edith Piaf/Jeanne Moreau/Serge Gainsbourg tape. I've never really taken the time to discover Gainsbourg, it's too much of a cliche for my liking. Although one song immediately displaced me from Old Kent Road to Avignon; 'Je suis venu pour dire que Je m'en vais'. I thank Nostalgie FM for this. Nostalgie plays 75% French hits from the 50s to the 80s, and is staple in-car entertainment for the 16 hour familial journey down South. It's also a favourite at Parisien squat parties, I hear.

It's Veggie Week at Pogo Cafe. Starting from tomorrow there is all kinds of "cruelty-free" food fun happening in Hackney Central. They're showing 'Why Vegan?' featuring Benjamin Z tomorrow (which sounds hopelessly condescending but is a film nevertheless) and giving away Vegetarian starter packs, which have a Vegetarian London book, Pogo recipe book and a bar of Green and Black's chocolate. I wanted one.

Quotes I can remember:

"If I learnt from my mistakes I'd get betterrrrrrr!" - Tim Exile
"I hate states, I hate borders ... I am not a citizen!" - Brother Alex, hilariously perturbed after 4 hours in the impossibly beaurocratic French Embassy


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