Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Yin Yang Diet, Gultskra Artikler, Stalker & Soho Lit

Me, me, me, me ME!

I just looked at a blog post that was all about the blogger – no surprise there – but he didn’t half go on about his musical career. It must be of interest to someone, but I didn’t stay long.

So, I went to the supermarket today. Thrilling, eh? Nothing interesting happened, unless you can call being able to buy two packs of Go Ahead! Crispy Slices (49 calories per slice) for the price of one interesting – which it isn’t to you, obviously. To achieve yin yang I also bought a chocolate ├ęclair, although I don’t think eating both is what dieticians mean when they talk about a ‘balanced diet’.

Musically, I’ve been consuming Gultskra Artikler’s ‘Galaktika’, a very fine album in the modern IM mode, where they’re very much in the same Zone as fellow Russian Edward Artemiev. Note to self: watch ‘Stalker’ again soon. I recently read the book, ‘Roadside Picnic’ by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, which inspired ‘Stalker’.  Tarkovsky changed a lot, changed virtually everything except the essential mystery of The Zone, and in doing so, made a far great work of art. In the book there’s much wheeling and dealing with artefacts gathered by stalkers who, with names like Bob The Gorilla and Pete The Scab, sound like pulp mobsters. It could have been filmed in another way entirely, as a sci-fi action movie by William Friedkin, with Gene Hackman as the troubled stalker. It would have been truer to the book, but not as visually sumptuous or enigmatic as Tarkovsky’s masterpiece.

Terry Taylor’s ‘Baron’s Court All Change’ was another recent read. In Zone 1 of London’s transport ticketing system (tenuous links, I’ve got ‘em!), Soho was/is also a place for wheeling and dealing, along with lashing of smut, and in the 50s, when this was written, breeding ground of a young bohemian bunch. Yes, it’s all that Jazz and smoking stuff that made Art Blakey records sound even better. Taylor was the model for Colin MacInnes’s anonymous hero of ‘Absolute Beginners’. That is a far superior novel to ‘Baron’s Court’, and will always be the best on the subject, but as a cultural document of the time and place Taylor’s novel is worth a look.

I’m currently lost in the labyrinth of the Navidson household. There’s your clue. I’m sure some of you will now know what I’m reading.

TTFN

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