Well, if there’s one thing that this week’s news has encouraged me to do, it’s go off and listen to some good music. With a hat-tip to Longsufferingreaderoftheblogpaul for sharing it aaaaages ago, here’s Reggie Watts’ cover of Van Halen’s Panama:
Where the original is – I’m told – about a race car, Reggie’s version is about the country. What do you think about, when you think about Panama?
In which I reflect upon the true story of meeting a hero….
The signs tell me to descend deep into a mammoth stone bridge that supports the weight of a town, into a venue that shouldn’t exist. I do as I am told, make my way down the black steps of the black stairwell, and pass through a black door into a wide, black-walled space with a black floor and a low, black ceiling. So the grime won’t show, I guess.
The only contrast is provided by a handful of handbills dotted around, advertising a forthcoming show. A single, black mitt on a white background, tattooed with an inverted image of the radio waves from pulsar CP 1919 — the cover of Unknown Pleasures. I smile, partly because it’s funny; it’s the first time I’ve seen a representation of a Joy Division Oven Glove. And partly because I’m patting myself on the back for knowing that this means the authors of that song are coming to town.
Anyone who’s ever subscribed to the Apoplexy Newsletter, read this blog, or met me, will be unsurprised to read that The Fabulous Beth and I went to see Billy Bragg play Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall last week. And those sorts of people will probably also find it predictable that Billy brought along a quirky support act, made an obscure and humorous reference to Craig Gannon in his stage banter, and was playing in the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s (sic) decision to open a new campaign of war.
I was particularly taken by Duke Special – for it is he – because he has ridiculous/awesome hair, had covered half of the merch table with an eclectic range of different types of art, and he sang a song called Last Night I Nearly Died. (That’s enough rule of three – Ed.)
Last Wednesday, I attended my class’s graduation ceremony from the Masters of Science programme in Creative Writing (?!) at the University of Edinburgh. As I wrote at the time…
We all had a lovely time. And I’m proud to be able to say that with the help of Beth and Paw Broon, I’m a post-stroke graduate! I have to say, though, that while it was nice to punctuate a wonderful year, it’s a bit concerning to be leaving the leafy groves of academe for a highly competitive world 18 years after I did it the first time.
Fortunately, Book Week Scotland was taking place out in the real world at the same time. And that helped ease the transition….
[In the Stroke Bloke privacy spectrum, get the good stuff and have a chat over here.]
Interested in Nerd Bait? Before digging into this week’s post, find out how The Wee Mermannie got the girl – deleted scenes from our Book Festival Gig are part of the bonus materials included in the first issue of the fabulous FREAK Circus!
The beautiful paperback artefact is here. The electronic version that includes the unexpurgated prose version of The Tail of The Wee Mermannie is here.
Right. Now. Back to the blog.
Last Monday, I noted neuroscientist David Eagleman’s remark that the idea that we are unitary people over time is merely an illusion of continuity.
The people each of us individually are at 10, 30, 40, “share the same name and some of the same memories, but we are quite different as a person.”
During the intervening week, I wrote a short story about a man who may – or may not – have lived a succession of quite different lives. Yet there are common themes in those lives. For example, in each case, the character’s father disappears from the scene in his early years.
It wasn’t until I was reading a passage in Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel All the King’s Men last night that I realised that my fiction had been taking a sideways look at Eagleman’s theme…. Continue reading To a Tee→
People love making transatlantic comparisons. Think Sting’s Englishman in New York. Think Toby Young’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Think Jeremy Clarkson’s unfortunately abortive attempt to get himself shot in The South.
[Stroke Bloke’s back from holiday. To make up for missing last week, I commend to you this post that predated Ada Lovelace Day on 13 October.]
[Long-Suffering Girlfriend of the Blog Beth and I went to see Kahlil Joseph and Arcade Fire’s The Reflektor Tapes this past weekend. So, today seemed like a good day to repost some reflektions on the album Reflektor and… other stuff.]
One of the many rubbish things about having a massive haemorrhagic stroke is that the ever-present factor of fatigue, and the whole brain lesions thing, militate against a quick return to the traditional, full-time workforce. Continue reading Reflektor Reduks→
As I noted last week, you can measure out an Edinburgh life in festivals if you’re so inclined. And the 2015 Festival, and Fringe, and Book Festival all come to a close today, in a blaze of sunshine (as of 10:13 am BST).