Anyone for a guitar solo?

When you approach an album called ‘A Deeper Understanding’, it’s probably with a heavy heart. Rather in the same way you don’t announce the funniness of a comment by saying ‘That is soooo funny’ rather than actually laughing, so you don’t announce your new depth by saying ‘I have a deeper understanding’. But awful title …

Maurizio’s John

Ever taken a slash in a gold-plated toilet? You haven’t lived my friend. But if you were in New York for the past couple months the opportunity for your ‘golden shower’ was available too you at the Guggenheim. Conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan had created his shining head for the esteemed gallery and called it ‘America’ …

The Long Day Closes

Terence Davies is a film maker largely unknown in much of America. His brand of visual art house is not shall we say ‘box office’ but is visually stunning. This is particular true of his work set in his native Liverpool, a city I also spent many formative years in. Perhaps his most beloved work from …

I Called Him Morgan

‘I Called Him Morgan’ is a new documentary about the brilliant jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his untimely demise at the hands of his wife Helen. Filled with great footage of jazz greats like Art Blakey and Warner Shorter performing with Morgan, as well as classic behind the scenes photos it reminds us a beautiful …

Ghost in the Shell

The imminent arrival of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson led to Metrograph cinema in the Lower East Side running the anime original. Primarily known as the influence for ‘The Matrix’, it is actually quite a bit different from the Wachowski’s film and years ahead of its time. For a start it has one …

Sexual Dependency

Nan Goldin’s famed series ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ is showing at MOMA. There a few selected images from the book on the gallery walls but when you step into the darkness of an additional room you see a series of Goldin’s images appearing one after the other to an imaginative soundtrack that goes from …

City on Fire

  Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel weighs in at a doorstopping 902 pages. But it’s one of the quickest 900 pages you’ll ever read. Set mainly in 70’s New York during the advent of punk and flashing forward and backward in time it is an evocative piece of work which manages to make the seedy …

Manhattan’s Babe

Frederic Beigbeder is not a name familiar to many but in France he’s a big deal. I discovered him accidentally wondering around Shakespeare & Co in Paris where I found his book ‘A French Novel’. It’s fun, irreverent and highly readable so when I heard about his novel ‘Manhattan’s Babe’ I was in. The story …

A Pen of all Work

Southern Californian Raymond Pettibon has been a counter culture artist since his days playing bass, albeit briefly, in his big brother’s punk band ‘Black Flag’. But it was with a pen rather than a guitar that he found the tool that would unleash his creativity His comic like drawings in black and white and color …

Pauline at the Beach

Pauline at the Beach is a 1980’s French film recently shown at ‘The Metrograph’ in New York by French ‘auteur’ Eric Rohmer. I shuddered a little inwardly when I wrote the ‘A’ word but ever you want to call him Rohmer and his circle of actors produced some interesting and philosophical romantic comedies. Pauline at …