elly jonez discovers bells and bellringing, courtesy of John Camp’s classic treatise.
Everything is the same, nothing is new. The city as an unchanging entity. Or as W. Axl Rose once sang, way back before he had the therapy you’re soon to hear on Chinese Democracy, “The streets don’t change / but maybe the names.”
Speaking of forever changes: perhaps it is the undue influence of Dave Sim’s glamourpuss– which, despite a queasy veer towards sexism/misogynism/whatever in issue number two, is the best pamphlet comic of the last few years– but I have become increasingly fascinated by the photorealist newspaper strips of the 1940s/50s/60s. The volumes of Leonard Starr’s Mary Perkins on Stage available from Classic Comics are a step in the right direction, but in this era in which every minor cartoonish strip gets gorgeous hardcovers, can’t us decent folk get a little Rip Kirby?
Other things which require collection pronto: new, readable translations of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese, Pat Tourett and Jenny Butterworth’s Tiffany Jones and Jorge Longeron’s Friday Foster. C’mon Comics Industry, get cracking!
Also, breaking news: the sweetest post ever. By… Warren Ellis?
We’ve been rocking Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis Suite I of IV ever since her show last May at the Key Club. Being deeply opposed, as our pal Jason Tallon would say, both in principle and in practice to attending live music performances– and also being way, way, way out of the West Hollywood loop– we didn’t even know that such a thing was happening until too late; but whisper campaigns brought news of Monáe’s music. And there was, as the old folks used to say, much rejoicing.
Monáe’s had a long Summer of being hyped by Diddy– many command performances hither and yon, a re-release of the aforementioned Metropolis Suite and now a new video for “Many Moons.”
The video is reasonably good but comes off a little sub-Kanye Glow in the Dark. Its major, tragic flaw is the one sin that Jesus called unforgivable: the use of quick-cuts and poor framing on an amazing dancer. There was, once, a Golden Age of dance on the silver screen, when cinematographers and DPs knew how to frame action. In those days, if by chance someone could dance then, by God, you would really see them dance.
Which is why amateur Youtube fixed-camera video of Monáe’s live performances is so infinitely preferable. Not to be missed, and wait till about the three minute mark:
Long series of digital photographs aborted by my own profound camera incompetence. Too bad. Only six survivors:
Drudge in Hollywood
On Steve Ditko
From Sunset Blvd
Welcome to Kurdistan