Thursday 22 June 2023
Saturday 17 June 2023
Bessie Smith - Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl(1931)
Bessie Smith (1894-1937)
* Not just her life, even her death reads like something out of a pulp fiction pot boiler.
Saturday 10 June 2023
Back in January 2022 some bright spark at the BBC began cajoling bands and artists into their Maida Vale studios to perform a couple of their own songs + a hand-picked cover and, with the help of the BBC Concert Orchestra, create more classical, and generally less frenetic, versions than the originals Radio 2 listeners are used to hearing. Playing the Piano Room has now become something of a badge of honour for yer Simply Reds and yer Pinks and anyone else who fits their daytime demographic. I blame Ken Bruce.
With the station's flagship mid-morning show now anchored by Vernon Kay, the mercurial northerner invited Def Leppard in a couple of weeks ago to wheel the grand piano out and look earnestly down the lens of the BBC's cameras and bring some gravitas to a tune more usually heard in lap dancing clubs*.
Def Leppard (feat. Emm Gryner) - Pour Some Sugar on Me (2023)
* Or so I've been reliably informed.
Tuesday 6 June 2023
Thursday 1 June 2023
I love these monthly bouts of call and response: I say something like ''I'm mixing it up for June's photo challenge. Literally. I'm looking for mosaic patterns, patchworks, montages, tessellations; you get the picture(s). So if you've just glued your priceless Ming vase back together again, or you see someone wearing Elmer the Elephant socks or you can paint in the style of Mondrian - you know what to do.'' And you come back with...
Well, The Swede was first to respond. ''I should stress that I don't make a habit of taking photos in public toilets, but this loo, in an art gallery I visited during Blog Con22 in Edinburgh, was colourfully memorable.'' You're not wrong, TS.
It's not often my dad appears on these pages. But when he does then it's usually me marking a solemn occasion; though not always, sometimes he just sends me texts that catch me unawares. ''Finally finished this micro puzzle'' his latest WhatsApp said - the 1000 piece jigsaw with tiny pieces I gave him for his birthday really fits this month's challenge. It must also have been a bugger to do.
''I also noticed some mosaics at the entrance of the freeway going North from our house. They're a bit ordinary though.'' Ordinary? Far from it!
Adam has really come up trumps this month: ''Hi John, two sets of tiles for you. The first one is from a wall in Manchester city centre behind Shudehill tram stop. If the rest of the area is anything to go by tis wall may not survive much longer. Gentrification, like rust, never sleeps.''