December 13, 2005

there's only so many worlds for nice positive girls

sunscreen, by glueslabs

* Pete Townshend on the Who film archive. excerpt:

"The sources of film of the Who and myself are varied. Concerts were rarely filmed, and when they were the rights rarely rested with the artists or record companies to whom they were contracted. Television appearances always belonged to the broadcaster. Films were made of the Who from the very beginning because our managers were filmmakers, I was loosely associated with a film cooperative called Tatooist International in the sixties and seventies and used their services often to commission small films about the band.

"The crunch comes when the film must be properly archived and logged. For the last twenty-five years I have carefully looked after Who film, and have been slowly listing it to a modern database. Recently, our archive was hit by something called vinegar syndrome, this is an airborne 'virus' that spreads from film can to can. The entire archive had to be moved. The fellow looking after it on a daily basis got sick from another airborne bug that relates to old film and sound tape.

"In the middle of all this Spitfire Films (who produced the Bob Dylan film by Martin Scorcese) persuaded our managers and Roger Daltrey to do a deal on a new biopic about the Who. Murray Lerner (who shot the legendary 1972 Isle of Wight concerts) was appointed to direct.

"I had no option but to let go of the entire business of looking after the archive, transfer the film to an independent archive and let Murray have open access. It feels irresponsible. But unless I do, by the time we've finished the job of restoring it all, and logging it, and clearing up who shot what, who owns it, and whether we can license it for our own purposes, it will all have turned to dust.
"When I walk into my archive store, I have panic attacks. There is so much stuff there that might be of value, but it will take a lifetime to research because it took a lifetime to accumulate. With enough trust one can let this material go. I'm not certain why I should entirely trust Murray Lerner, but he is a brilliant filmmaker and I am content to let him wade through what is stored. But there comes a time when every artist has to get on with the next chapter. If they film themselves doing it they will be adding to the silt.
"The recent revelations of Bob Dylan have come at the right time for me. I attended the DVD concert of Bruce Springsteen, or one like it, and I'm glad it exists. But I'm glad I saw him live. The importance of seeing a performing music artist live has been emphasized by watching film of Jimi Hendrix; it does not do him justice. In the flesh he was more than magical. It just doesn't seem to work on film. It's better than nothing, but if you wish to engage one of today's emerging artists and see them at their best, try to catch them live.

"Next best thing, might be to catch them live on the internet. You might feel as if you are more a part of the event somehow, even if the picture glitches every so often. Music is merely time divided. Time is plentiful, but it destroys film and tape.

* Mark E. Smith announces football scores.

"On Nov. 19, Mark E. Smith, the witheringly cynical singer for the British band the Fall, read soccer results on a BBC television show, 'Score and Final Score.' First he cleared his throat - he seemed to have a cold - and then, in a voice like a sharp stick, he began. 'Charlton Athletic 1, Manchester United 3. Chelsea 3, Newcastle United nil.' And so on, for about four minutes. Fall fans on the Internet have been fascinated by this, as others would be fascinated by Bob Dylan reading the Lotto numbers, but I haven't found anyone stating the obvious: it's like a Fall song. A report, cut into stentorian bursts of Manchester, anti-sentimental, full of proper nouns and not open to debate. (It can be accessed through WFMU's blog,"

* Slideshow: 50 musicians who died too soon.

* "Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity." -- Vladimir Nabokov, Poems and Problems, 1969

* Stock Graph: Haliburton vs. Dow Jones Industrial Index.


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