Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Textures of the Collective Unconscious

Deivis Slavinskas' Contemporary Fine Art

Lively, beautiful and mysterious artworks by Deivis Slavinskas

The Dancer
30x24 cm acrylic on canvas
Textures of the Collective Unconscious

21 June to 15 July
The Gallery
Willesden Library Centre
95 High Road
NW10 2SF

They are all outstanding but "Standing Male Figure" and "The Book of Salome" I found particularly striking. Because of their psychological resonances, they are quite at home in the building together with the current exhibition of works by Louis Wain, which is upstairs in the Brent Museum. There are other exhibits in the gallery so all in all it's well worth a visit. Deivis Slavinskas' exhibition is in the main concourse and so can be viewed any time but the gallery room only opens for limited hours from noon (I think). The museum space with the Louis Wain exhibition opens normal hours, see below for more details.

Noël Knowall

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Is It So Hard (to make it in America)

"Charles Bradley, backed by The Menahan Street Band, performs "Why Is It So Hard" live from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin, TX, during KEXP's broadcast at SXSW. Recorded 3/17/2011."

Charles Bradley has got his first recording contract at the age of 62. X-Factor etc eat your little hearts out.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

BBC iPlayer - Glastonbury: 2011: Morrissey

BBC iPlayer - Glastonbury: 2011: Morrissey

"Mark Radcliffe introduces Morrissey's performance from the Pyramid Stage."

Available until: 9:59PM Fri, 1 Jul 2011
First broadcast: BBC Four, 9:00PM Fri, 24 Jun 2011
Duration: 60 minutes

This is top class.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Willesden Green Architectural Salvage

They have everything you could ever possibly need round the back, including park benches outside in the street (round the corner in Willesden High Road), tempting to try.

Norma's Blessed Hands

Caribbean restaurant, Willesden High Road

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moon River on Google's Les Paul birthday logo

There is now a permanent link to the Google Les Paul guitar logo, which first appeared on what would have been Les Paul's 96th birthday, 9 June 2011.

You can play music on it and it has a Record button as well. Music can be played by typing letters on the keyboard. The top row of letters has been used here, though the row of numbers above it might be better - but some compact keyboards might not have those numbers so easily accessible.

Moon River on Google Les Paul logo
Music by Henry Mancini. Words by Johnny Mercer

q o i
(Moon River,)
u y t r t
(wider than a mile,)
q u y t r t
(I'm crossing you in style)
q w
(some day.)
e q t e
(Oh, dream maker,)
w q t e
(you heart breaker,)
w q e t i u
(wherever you're going)
y u y t y
(i'm going your way.)

t o i
(Two drifters)
u y t r t
(off to see the world-)
q u y t r t
(there's such a lot of world)
q w
(to see.)

e q e t i
(We're after the same)
o i t
(rainbow's end)
u y t r t
(waiting round the bend,)
q u y t r t
(my huckleberry friend,)
q r w
(Moon River)
e q
(and me.)


Bartell Darcy writes:

It seems to be polyphonic for up to three notes together, probably no more because of the technical limitations of what a computer keyboard can signal. Keyboards never ask for more than three keys to be clicked simultaneously, e.g. Ctrl-Alt-Del. Still a lot can be done with the strings and notes available on the Les Paul logo. Here is a way to strum "She's an Artist" by Bob Dylan. It's a "three chord trick" plus a little seventh to spice it up a bit.

The home chord, which I think is E major, will be made by tapping/vamping Q and E together, blam, blam, blam, blam quite quickly. You'll see what rhythm you need, about 8 beats per line but it may be seven with the eighth on the next line, perhaps.

She's got everything she needs,

she's an artist, she don't look



She's got everything she needs, she's an artist, she don't look


She can take the dark out of the nighttime or make the daytime




Ossian writes:

Here is a Moore's melody for you: "Believe me if all those endearing young charms" by Thomas Moore:

Believe me if all those

Endearing young charms

Which I gaze on so fondly today

Were to change by tomorrow

And fleet in my arms,

uyti ewqwq
Like fairy gifts fading away

Though would'st still be adored

As this moment thou art

Let thy loveliness fade as it will

And around the dear ruin

Each wish of my heart

Would entwine itself

Verdantly still.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Korea's got talent

Sung-bong Choi faced snobbish laughter when he said he was a manual worker (or did he put it in a deliberately amusing way?) However, his life story was so sad that he gained the sympathy of the audience and the jury. Then he sang, creating a moment very like when Susan Boyle did the same. It's a real tearjerker. He seems a nice chap, deserving of a few bob.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Obama plugs 'Lost in Transition'

Example of what can be done to encourage new fiction by young writers. Lost in Transition: Stories by transition year, Students from Scoil Chaitriona was helped by Fighting Words (Ireland). Is there a similar project in Britain?

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Art and Mind of Louis Wain at Brent Museum

Communicating Through Cats: The Art and Mind of Louis Wain

"An exhibition of work by Louis Wain (1860-1939), who is best known for his 'humanistic' cat drawings. The show explores how the artist saw the world during a life troubled by tragedy and mental illness. It also looks at how understanding and appreciation of Wain's work has varied over the past 100 years." (Time Out)

Brent Museum (upstairs at Willesden Library Centre)
8 May to 29 October 2011
Free admission

This is a fabulous exhibition of paintings, drawings, illustrations and even some small sculptures or ceramics (his "Futurist" cats) by Louis Wain in the special exhibition centre in the Brent Museum. Contrary to what is said in the publicity it is not ALL cats, there are other marvellous subjects as well. People should be queuing round the block for this but there was nobody there this lunchtime, till a lady came in who agreed that it should be better promoted (not even in the this month's Brent magazine, for example). While we were talking two schoolkids came in to sit in the gallery and chat (no harm in that).

The exhibition has what looks like 50 or more of every kind of work, some quite large, others of more moderate sizes, painted and drawn in various media, e.g. gouache on paper, some sort of paint on mirror glass etc. There are also some books ("Louis Wain annuals") and notes, including a couple of examples of some of his handwritten "secret notes" that are said to fascinate psychologists interested in his mental states. To be fair, the museum has organised a varied series of ten events for schools and families, together with another six or so for adults, all in connection with the exhibition, as well as guided tours. So I'm not sure what more they could do. However, you can do something: go and see it! You can also join in adding special written tags to trays underneath some of the pictures, a selection of which will be published online later.

"The exhibition includes work selected and supplied by Chris Beetles Gallery, St James's, London, and loans from the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust and the Wellcome Library. A free programme of adult and family events and activities will be running alongside the exhibition. In addition, volunteers will be running lunch-time tours of the exhibition on the last Wednesday of every month, starting at 12pm." (Dates, times and details).

I can't find a copy online of the leaflet listing all the events but you can pick up one at the museum. Louis Wain lived in Kilburn.

Noël Knowall

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

This is what it's like here

Small earthquake in Blackpool, major shock for UK's energy policy

Science, News - The Independent

"The process involves pumping millions of gallons of water, mixed with rock-dissolving chemicals, into the earth to unsettle rocks and release the gas trapped there."

Duh, the clue is in the description. When will we ever stop "cutting off the branch we're sitting on"? Earth is our home, stop digging it up, burning it, dissolving it and start protecting it. No?

Literary competition news

The Frank O'Connor Award long list

Congratulations to all who have been long-listed for the Frank O'Connor international short story award 2011, the world's largest short story prize, and particularly to four of our previous WH short story competition finalists, Jo Cannon, Vanessa Gebbie, Valerie Trueblood and Tom Vowler. They are in the running with the likes of Yiyun Li and Colm Toibín.