From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘culture

Sunday Swoon. October 13th 2013.

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1. Pizza Pilgrims permanent home on Dean Street in Soho has stolen my heart. Although all that usually takes is somewhere that serves a Negroni (they do) the pizza’s here are the best in London served by happy smiles and polite staff (the complete opposite of how Pizza East seem to be serving people recently). Order the Napoli Salami and you’ll never look at a pepperoni again. I’ll be making many return visits for a pizza fix and next time I want to save room for Affogato (vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso). Two pizzas and four (alcoholic of course) drinks came to £36.50.

2. Aside from my sister chanting “Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher” Have I Got News For You, and especially Ian Hislop, was the first thing to make me not only pay attention to politics and the press (closer bed fellows than we once thought) but to also make me question what I was being fed. That would have been as a teenager (it’s been running for twenty-three years). This week I got to sit in the studio audience, completely in awe and giddy with nerdy happiness. Amazing experience.

3. I was heartbroken when LCD Soundsystem called it a day. But my heart is slowly healing seeing as James Murphy is filling his time remixing, elongating and producing tracks from some of my favourite artists. This week his mix of David Bowie’s Love is Lost.

4. You only have one more week to see The Memory Palace at the V&A, it’s worth dashing to South Kensington for. Hari Kunzru latest work of fiction is a walk in book with illustrations from illustrators, designers and typographers, set in  future London. From lamenting the NHS to glimpses of our Olympic Village in ruins. You get to save one memory in this future. In the V&A you get to submit yours at the end.

Tony Ray-Jones. Approach.

Tony Ray-Jones. Approach.

5. The Science Museum has opened a Media Space and launches with Only In England. Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr. This runs until March 2014, photographers and people curious in our culture and social characteristics would find this fascinating. Both men documented English life, focusing on our seaside towns. Shots of Margate and Broadstairs especially giving me that warm cosy feeling of reminiscing of our family holidays to those destinations. Above is Tony Ray-Jones approach to photography tips, don’t take boring pictures being my favourite. Below is from his note-book.

“British characteristics and qualities. 

Love of tradition

Love of stability
Art of compromise & muddling through
Apathy & indolence [from the security of the welfare state]
A country lacking in drama and yet the people have a fine sense of drama”.

Sunday Swoon. March 10th. 2013

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1. Immersive cinema has been on my to-do list since I first heard of Secret Cinema screening One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Next back in 2010. So thanks to Twitter (huge thanks to Drew) I unexpectedly found myself waiting outside East London’s Troxy on Sunday evening waiting to see Casablanca for the first time. Without any expectations I was completely wowed. I’m not sure I even blinked, I was too busy drinking up the experience. I think part of my delight was in the unexpected so I won’t blog in too much detail. Just to say I highly recommend it. Tickets for extra nights are still on sale from Future Cinema.

2. John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is perhaps not one to read on public transport after the tears I shed on the underground this week. The books main characters are two teenagers suffering from Cancer. It is bleak, tragic, real. But above all these things the author manages to convey beauty amongst an ugly and unfair illness. That is what I came away with, it’s sad but beautiful. It’s rare that I read books for a second time, I can see myself picking this up again down the line.


3. All this year The Southbank Centre are putting on a series of events called The Rest Is Noise broaching a wide range of topics through a series of lectures, live music performances and film. We went along to Berlin in the 20’s and 30’s. Yes, I felt idiotic (especially when the middle-class shared in-jokes over classical music and I found my blank expression mirrored back at me when I turned to my friend Jo) but I find a ton of joy in learning and so can deal with the shame. For example, I learnt that it was cheaper to burn money than buy coal after the fall out from the first world war as Berlin’s economy suffered. That The Doors Alabama Song was actually composed by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht as part of an opera. Tickets for future events are still available. Go see what you can learn.

4. The second film that stole my heart this week is Celeste and Jesse Forever. From the opening scenes I thought it would be a typical American Rom Com but it’s far smarter with unexpected, witty and warm scenes. It also has a fantastic soundtrack. Starring Rashida Jones of Parks and Recreation fame and Andy Samberg.  Don’t read too much about the plot beforehand!

5. My new favourite budget restaurant is Ariana II in Kilburn. Typically I discover it just as I start to plan a move to East London. That won’t stop me jumping on the train to come back time and time again. For five of us to eat on Friday it came to £13 a head. This included plates of the best hummus I have ever tasted, warm naan breads, panner salad, cubes of tandoori lamb, fried aubergine, baklava. You can BYOB to this restaurant which is what makes it such a bargain.

Museum Of Broken Relationships & My Song

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I visited the Museum Of Broken Relationships yesterday. For those of you not aware of what this entails it’s basically where the last embers of relationships go to die. Well, at least that’s how I viewed it. The range of items donated by the heartbroken beggars belief. A bad taste dragon cake topper from a wedding that ended in a swift divorce (I think the dragons are to blame for that separation) to a beautiful Pianoforte never to be played again by the intended recipient. There were some genuinely touching items/stories on display. The roll of undeveloped film and a ceramic rolling-pin that represented the loss of someone’s mother. Throughout the two sites that this exhibition spans the following three sentences were in constant rotation in my head;

  1. This is a bit sad
  2. Wow people can hold on to resentment a long long long time
  3. This is hysterical

My favourite moment was when an elderly gentleman (I mean Grandad, you can spot him in the photo below) came up to me and said “I don’t know what I’m doing here. I came for the theatre. It’s terribly sad isn’t it?”. He then went on to ask me if I’d ever felt any of the emotions catalogued & displayed lovingly. I didn’t have to think long. Yes, I’ve felt sadness before but never the bitterness that I felt was evident in the room. He told me he’d experienced great sadness in his life but “as for bitterness. No. You must never feel that”.

It made me think if I had anything to offer up to the museum. I haven’t kept trinkets of past relationships, I guess I’m just not the sort of person who keeps one toe dipped in the puddle of the past. But then I remembered the song.

I once dated a musician. I’ve learnt from that experience. However, about a year after my escape I received an MP3 of  a song penned about me. I want to point out that I’m not trying to belittle this brave act. Because it is a brave thing to say “I wrote this about you”. I respect anyone with the balls or boobs to do that. It’s called The Bones Of Ya.

Not The Bones Of You.


It would be cruel of me to put someone’s art, their poetry into the museum wouldn’t it? Yes, you’re right. Putting in my blog however? Less cruel?

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Written by Anon PA

August 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm