August 27th, 2003


From Off The Streets Of Cleveland - In Person!

Gah! It's muggy and sweaty. No sign of this 'much fresher' weather they keep promising, much less RAIN. Everything that doesn't smell of feet smells of pee, especially in the West End...which is where I have been tonight. Had a nice meal & yummy wine at the pleasingly laid-back and low-lit Gourmet Pizza on Swallow St (thanks to helenraven... ) and on to the Haymarket for the AMERICAN SPLENDOR screening. Yes, it's very good indeed. Poignant, mental, and, of course,very funny.
The bloke playing Crumb looks nothing like him, but has The Laugh to a T. There's a terrific ticcy, grumpy and slobby performance as Harvey by Paul Giamatti, and a very nice soundtrack. It deserves the hype it's been getting. Afterwards, there was a Q&A with Mr Pekar himself, plus the wonderful Joyce Brabner, his wife (She is way cool...), their foster daughter, (The whole family blogs on -)and the very talented Mr. Giametti, all of whom appeared fairly knackered and ropey, straight from being feted, no doubt, exhaustingly, in Edinburgh. Yes, Harvey is thrillingly rumpled, wrecked and inarticulate. Wotta man...I'm not used to being out of my anchorite's cell so 'late', and with the vino and the humidity, was getting a bit spaced and dozy by the end. Of course, now that I'm in, I'm wide awake, and glugging the ol' Vanilla Diet Coke, to ensure I'll be up and down all night, prat that I am. Why isn't there anything decent on TV?
I noticed on the way to the bus stop that there is a massive police presence around Trafalagar Square at the moment. Is that routine these days, or do they know something we don't?
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    Asylum Seekers Suffering on BBC2

Alice Coote...

Just listened to the Edinburgh concert of this terrific young mezzo., who has a really special talent for dramatic sincerity in addition to her luscious voice. I generally cannot sit through Schumann's vomitrocious Franenliebe und-leben my distaste having been deep-dyed by having had to attempt singing some of these nauseous ditties myself, in a long-ago class. Barf! Coote actually managed to make the cycle if not palatable, at least tolerable, and her rendition of the same composer's weird and rather pervy Die Lowenbraut had me in big fliddy floods of tears.
She sang some Mahler, too, and was just ace. To sing really superbly must be the greatest gift there is. Sigh...
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    People On TV Hamming Up TWELFTH NIGHT

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What Is Your Battle Cry?

Stalking over the tarmac, attacking with a mighty sword, cometh Crazycrone! And she gives a bloodthirsty grunt:

"For the love of beatings, I tear into the enemy like a four-year-old on a sugar rampage!!!"

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