Posts from 9th June 2010

Jun 10

Kabuki at Sadler’s Wells

The Brown Wedge2 comments • 1,096 views

It took me a while to get the hang of my first kabuki show. A lot of it is very alien. The music is drums, very loud clappers and samisen, which sounds like an out-of-tune banjo, which is clearly my problem with their very different scales rather than suggesting anything wrong about it. The singing is very strange – sometimes high and wailing, sometimes guttural and forceful, never remotely familiar in style or tone. It also took a while to get used to the simultaneous translation over a headset, essential as that was for me.

The opening storyline was ludicrous, too. It starts with Yoshitsune telling his famous girlfriend that it is too dangerous for her to accompany him, as at this point he and his small band are on the run from a pursuing army. She refuses to leave him, so he ties her to a tree at the edge of the road down which the pursuing army are chasing him. Yes, that is how best to ensure her safety… The last sentence of the synopsis offered online proves this isn’t just an opening aberration: “A group of comical priests enter with the intention of capturing Yoshitsune, but the fox defeats them with his supernatural powers and joyfully flies off with the drum.”


Surely It Starts With Chris

FT + Proven By SciencePost a comment • 662 views

Ah controversy. So many people court you but when is the wedding? I have always found the ideas of religions advertising to be a bit odd*, though even I cannot help but smuggle a small smile when I think of cheap posters saying Carpenter Seeks Joiners (flocking Eastern Europeans not wanted – pah). Nevertheless the teacup tempest caused by this ultrasound poster campaign for Christmas** does seem to flap around the resemblance this poster has to those used by anti-abortion campaigns of recent years (of course no-one really minds pro-lifers using Christianity for their own ends but I digress). This poster however is so staggeringly bonkers that it cannot help raise a large number of secondary thoughts, a number of which are pro-choice. I mean Mary didn’t really have a choice about harbouring Jesus in her womb, and honour that I daresay it was, it probably put Joseph’s back up a bit and she didn’t even have the benefit of a quickie with a swan that she might have got from a different pantheon.

Anyway it made me think:
a) That halo must be a bit uncomfortable.



Popular123 comments • 8,769 views

#608, 14th May 1988, video

This record really enrages me without my being easily able to work out why. It’s not the tune – when I’m not listening to it “Perfect” bops around my head quite pleasantly, or at least the “beey-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee” hook does. Of course, that in-head version lacks Eddi Reader’s stridency, which really surprised me when I listened to the track again: I had this memory of it as a very breezy, light, record, a sort of skiffle Bobbie Gentry deal, and it might have been but her blaring voice buckles the song, and she makes her romantic idealism sound a little smug.


New for the health conscious: composted greens

FT + Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 364 views

There are a lot of stupid things that supermarkets do to food that upset me. Wrapping cucumbers is of course everyone’s least favourite example of stupidity at work and washing potatoes counts as a close second. Washing carrots unnecessarily, so that the natural stuff that was stopping them drying out is taken off and then putting them in bags wet, so that a vegetable once preservable in the bottom of your fridge for months becomes instantly slimy and moldy is another. Wet things in unventilated bags: they go off. This is not exactly nuclear science, it’s just trufac and also a brilliant way of making slightly fermenting cow feed for the winter.