Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jungle Jim comes to town.

The Book Lounge is simply my favourite book shop in the universe. I nipped in tonight for the launch of Jungle Jim and had to fight my way through the crowd of black-clad young hipsters to buy a copy. The shark and bone cookies with neon icing were gone in a flash, but the wine was still flowing when I left an hour later. Spotted Nikhil Singh in the crowd - enigmatic front man for The Wild Eyes and also a contributor to issue #1.

Jungle Jim is dark and obscure, printed on thick newsprint stock and true to the tradition of pulp fiction,  smells deliciously of... ink. It's a smell that suffuses me with intense happiness. It's also all African, which equals more happiness.
ZAR 15 (alleenlik!) buys you all of this.

Another thing that made me smile today was a pair of door panels at Onsite Gallery.
For decades opened and closed by a stranger's hands and called by another name on the other side of the world...

Unfortunately thousands of ZARs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mose Allison, he plays it like it is.

I love the "notes" on the sleeves of old records.
According to Mose, "Transfiguration of Hiram Brown Suite" is a serio-comic fantasy based on a perennial theme. Hiram Brown is the naive provincial who dreams of a life of opulence in the city. He goes there, is overwhelmed and disillusioned, longs for his youth, realizes that this too is an illusion, despairs, goes through a crisis and is "transfigured". This is Mose's own interpretation. He hopes that this Suite can be enjoyed from a variety of viewpoints and, most of all, that it swings. - Teo Macero

It had been a long time since they had sat at the same table. He said he felt out of sorts - a little queasy with apprehension. She drank coffee, he drank tea. An Afrikaans expression crossed her mind: koeitjies en kalfies. For a while they spoke of small cows and calves. That is to say of things that didn't bear weight or importance. Music. People. Four tears were almost shed - one from each eye, but only because she spoke with longing about his children.
They shared a messy sandwich.
He gave her the record and they said goodbye on the street.
After that he sent her a message:
I thought I had lost you.
She didn't write back, but if she had, it would have been to say: It's a combination. You have, and you haven't. This, now, is something else.
She remembered reading years ago about a choreographer, she couldn't recall his name. He spoke about the people he had met in his life - a succession of friends and lovers. He ended by saying: That's life, that's love, that's the world. It had angered her. But that was when she'd believed in the myth of one true love.
There was a time when even her skin hurt from missing him. Around her were holes in the shape of him. But as she looked at him across that table, unblinkered, she saw not the centre of a universe, but a man.
A man of flesh and blood and bone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors, Black Ballpoint Pen.

My passport expired a year ago.
Why have I waited until now to renew it?
Because it's bloody dreary is why.
Home Affairs and their inability to answer the phone. The hither and thither between Customs House and Barrack Street. On foot past Mavericks: wretched middle-aged men in doorways smoking, waiting for a glimpse of the strippers.
Regarding your passport photo: You may no longer smile. And they want EYEBROWS and EARS.
I ended up looking like a victim of violence. Shocked, pale and bruised.
Nothing like me, I tell myself.
But hey. Hopefully I'll have a passport soon.
It could take 3 or 4 or 6 weeks, depending on who you ask. They'll text me, they say.

To rid myself of that feeling you get after being fingerprinted, I popped in at Church.
The entire shop is lined with paper leaves and fern fronds.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan.

Well you see, I had three older brothers. They spent all of their pocket money on LP's and seven singles. Every Saturday morning something new for a little girl and her Barbie to dance to.
I wish I had a fraction of that collection. I'm going to start the day by listening to my favourite album. Desire. It's the fiddle and the poetry and it's Emmylou - looking for that record with a sore heart.

Happy 70th birthday Bob Dylan.
Rock on.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The End Of The World.

It came and it went.
Slept till late, all warm and fuzzy.
Watched six chapters of Breaking Bad.
Met some Italians for lunch at Cafe Paradiso.
(Now also part of the Madame Zingara empire, along with Cafe Mozart, The Bombay Bicycle Club, The Sidewalk Cafe, The White Rabbit Wash House, et cetera)
Accompanied my small companion to the kitchen for a spot of gingerbread baking. "Children's activities" - on the menu at ZAR45 a pop. Everything has a price, even if it is the last day of this mortal coil.
And as last days go, it was beautiful and it was balmy.

My favorite quote surrounding all of this hoo-ha is one by Sibongile Mafu: "The world is going to end and some of you will die wearing red skinny jeans and SpongeBob SquarePants t-shirts."
I spent most of the day in my pajamas.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Take yourself down to the AVA and see Damien Schumann's exhibition of photographs taken on the Mexico/US border in 2009. Evocative and striking, each image accompanied by pages from his diary.
Visit his website for shockingly beautiful images of body builders and the horse hospital.

Fame awaits you my friend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Come on-a my house.

This is the kind of Sunday lunch I like:
I arrive rather late, i.e. 4pm, but it carries on till midnight anyway.
My friends are leaving on an epic journey and will be sorely missed.
I've been wanting to post about tattoos for a while now, so I'll start with M. & T.
(Meanwhile I still ponder in indecision:
to tattoo or not.)

Bye bye Sweeties.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

... and then there was beer.

It was cold and misty on the pier.
I met my oldest friend in the world for a Belgian beer tasting at Den Anker. ZAR 130 buys you eight dinky glasses of beer and four tapas.
We worked our merry way through the pale and perfumy Blanche de Bruxelles, to the amber richness of De Koninck. Alongside cheese croquettes, small chunks of grilled sirloin with mustard, prawns, bitterballen...
A lovely way to spend a Thursday afternoon.
I can get used to this not-having-a-job lark.
For lunch today:
The grass-fed beef and ale pie at The Power & The Glory.

I salute the cook.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The things we do, continued.

During this lull after the commercial season, before the other work starts...
I am spending hours doing this kind of thing:
- lying on my bed reading the pile of books accumulated next to it.
- watching raindrops on the pool.
- curing olives from my friends' very own tree - Missions from Mowbray.
 - drinking coffee at The Power & The Glory.
-  playing records.
- getting to know my new camera.
- being kissed silly.
And this morning I spared a wonder: who shops at Louis Vuitton?
Slingback mules and patent peep toes. ZAR 7 400 a pair
(and yes - those are little golden padlocks on the back)
Bowling bag. ZAR 12 900

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The things we do.

Ahh. The life of a freelancer. Any time is red-wine-o-clock (a problem for some) and how easy it's been to slip into the habit of sleeping in. Making up for all of those four in the morning call times perhaps...
A lovely Indian Summer's day yesterday.
We did a little loitering, one long-legged man and I.
Saw Sanell Aggenbach's exhibition Some dance to remember some dance to forget at Blank Projects in Woodstock. Such evocative and beautiful images. I left feeling nostalgic and homesick for something I couldn't begin to describe.

Popped in at a few shops, chatted to some people on the street. Saw our friend Paul Painting's exhibition Phantasmagoria at Salon 91 in Kloof Street. The film industry has it's fair share of moonlighting artists and musicians. It seems a little unfair sometimes. One wants these people to paint more, play more. Nevertheless, I'm so impressed that this dedication and talent exists. I loved his ink and bleach paintings. Beautifully expressive brushwork, pink pencil lines...

Drank coffee in slanted sunlight. Came home, listened to some records. Went out for sushi and saw COAL play at the Waiting Room. Three sweet-voiced girls and one nimble-handed guy. Ross Campbell from Benguela
is drumming for them now.
More dedication, more sheer talent.
I'm over here on number 9.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sweat and tears.

So if you weren't at the Burn and you weren't at the Harley Davidson Club last night...
Them Tornadoes said on FB this morning that we rocked the club inside out. We certainly did.
I admit to having a bit of a fan crush on the Ferguson brothers - they're rockabilly stars after all. Dave was wearing one of my wardrobe favorites - the pin striped pant. Matt was there in his kilt. I've written all about them before, so suffice to say: it was a fantastic send-off.

I loved Peachy Keen.

And the girl fans.

If you ever wondered what the magic box of tricks looks like:

and twenty-four-odd harmonicas...

So long Dave and good luck.
You'll be missed.