Chuck’s off to the Promised Land

March 19, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |
Chuck_Berry_1957 (1)4

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) Goodbye Charles!  Millions will miss you. Will your great spare style and R ‘n’ R, R & B songs come back in style? You never can tell. x https://youtu.be/h-46hyvEV5k

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Happy Birthday Philip

El_Aquelarre_(1797-1798)

Philip Roth b. 19 March 1933 Though he said he’d pull the pin after his last book, Nemesis (2010), we hope that he’s tinkering with a posthumous classic (preferably something much better than The Original of Laura). We doubt it could be any funnier – or filthier – than Sabbath’s Theater (1995), that riotous and dark meeting of Mickey Sabbath (Lear/Fool) and Drenka Balich (Cordelia/Goneril/Regan), with her penchant for playing Mrs Malaprop. Roth is the grubbiest writer in centuries, a great descendant of Catullus, Rabelais and Geoffrey Chaucer.  In a thoughtful piece, James Wood comments that “Misogyny always flickers in [Roth’s]…

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The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five

Venus and Mars....It's been said.

Venus and Mars....It's been said.

(by Doris Lessing)         The first book in Lessing‘s Canopus in Argos: Archives series, Shikasta, is unimpressive upon reading, but impresses upon reflection. Lessing puts a thoughtful and intriguing spin on our understanding of humankind’s origins. The second volume, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five is unimpressive upon reading and almost impossible to reflect upon with interest. The bellicose inhabitants of Zone Five are unsophisticated, ‘masculine’ and heavy. The arty inhabitants of Zone Four are loving in an all-inclusive creepy way, ‘feminine’ and smug. So let’s marry the dopey queen of Zone Four to the blustering king of Zone Five and see what happens. Galadriel sets about doing…

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Hello and Absolve all Black & Tans

March 17, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, Ulalume |
"Have a nice day, Ireland!"(Portrait by Peter Lely)

"Have a nice day, Ireland!"(Portrait by Peter Lely)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! If Pátraic was so hot though, why does Ireland still have to put up with Sinn Féin? Anyway, top of the morning to Paddys everywhere, and we hope not to have been too inflammatory by passing-on the best wishes of well known hibernophile, Oliver Cromwell.  The more polite Irish tend to refer to Oliver as a “Special Occasion.”* [*euphemism with apologies to the late Elisabeth Wynhausen.]

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The Secret River

March 15, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Heidrun Lohr

Heidrun Lohr

(Dir. Neil Armfield) (Anstey Quarry, 12 March 2017) [Memo to the traditional custodians: “How annoying, when you’ve got the place looking right, some great floating vector retches into view, bone in her teeth, lusting for dry land and croaking with violent anticipation. White folks revise and revise; you, in your pleasant way, make no objection. Naturally, the latecomers take it for granted that you know your place in this new world.”] This is the scenario of imperialism and it has played out (variably) on every inhabited continent from time immemorial.  It is a powerful but overworked theme. In the capable…

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