Ella Fitzgerald was born a century ago today, on April 25, 1917. Her voice was like sunshine, or a glass of champagne. As a woman, she had great warmth and dignity. She was also a friend to Marilyn Monroe, who had been introduced to her work by jazz pianist and arranger Hal Schaefer in 1953. Continue reading
The cover shoot for Art Decades‘ tenth issue, out now, has a Log Lady meets Readers’ Wives vibe, and the green font gives a nod to the upcoming return of Twin Peaks. ‘Puyallup Suburban Chic’ is shot by filmmaker Kimberly Kane, starring actress Lily LaBeau. Their collaboration evokes memories of Bunny Yeager’s 1950s work with Bettie Page.
Dedicated to the late Leonard Cohen, Volume 10 features two more striking pictorials. John Levy’s ethereal ‘Veiled Valentine’ is accompanied by lines from ‘Dance Me to the End of Time.’ Kelley Richey’s ‘A Well-Read Woman is a Dangerous Creature’, shot at Black Swan Books in Lexington, reminded me of the bookstore scene from The Big Sleep.
‘Keep All the Animals Warm’ is the first in a new series of layouts celebrating readers and their pets. Elsewhere, there’s ‘Famous People Dead’, a short story from Les Bohem, set in Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris; conversations with filmmakers Nick Hunt, whose debut horror, Safe Place, will be released this fall; and the writer and director of acclaimed Italian satire, Pecore in Erba. Marcio Lima talks about his Los Angeles-based clothing line, The Sellout, and Jeremy Richey interviews Bill Ackerman, whose Supporting Characters podcast is a regular on the Now Playing Network. In my favourite article this time around, Jeremy explores the underrated ‘blaxploitation’ films of Gordon Parks Jr., son of the great American photographer.
Another musical crush from my giddy youth was lost on Christmas Day with the news that George Michael had passed away. Wham! were among my first pop heroes, and like many other girls, my best friend and I dreamed of marrying them – although as my BFF bagged George, I settled for Andrew Ridgeley (which wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.) Continue reading
Amy Winehouse, Another Day in the Death of America, BFI Stars, Blondie, British Witches of Sussex, Elena Ferrante, F.A. Mannan, Frances Farmer, Frantumaglia, Gary Younge, I'm Not In the Band, Jean Rhys, Journalism, Julie Christie, Lana Del Rey, Letters, Lyndsy Spence, Margaret Lockwood, Melanie Bell, Natalie Wood, Nathalie Leger, Peter Shelley, Rebecca Sullivan, Suite For Barbara Loden, Sylvia Patterson
British journalist Gary Younge has a sharp eye for how political events impact on ordinary lives. While living in Chicago, he investigated the stories behind the blunt statistics of ten children and teenagers shot dead in a single day. Never intrusive, but quietly devastating, Another Day in the Death of America illuminates with rare power. Continue reading
Blackstar, Coldcut, David Bowie, Hope Sandoval, Ladies and Gentlemen...The Bangles!, Leonard Cohen, Massive Attack, Only Heaven, Prince, Roots Manuva, Roses Gabor, The Bangles, The Spoils, Tricky, Until the Hunter
I first heard his music while watching Robert Altman’s anti-Western, McCabe and Mrs Miller, in Camden during the late eighties. That cinema is now long-gone, but the film – made not long before I was born – left a lasting impression. Continue reading
Madonna’s third album, True Blue, was released on June 30, 1986. Recorded during the honeymoon period of her stormy marriage to Sean Penn, and revealing a sleeker, more sophisticated style, True Blue yielded a slew of classic pop singles, affirming Madonna’s status as one of the decade’s musical icons. Thirty years on, you can read my expanded review here.
I first discovered Prince in 1983, while scrabbling for singles in a bargain bin. The song was ‘Controversy’, and its B-side, ‘When You Were Mine.’ Then along came Purple Rain, and so much more.
Born in the same Midwestern summer of ’58 that brought us Michael Jackson (the entertainer), and Madonna (the provocateur), Prince Rogers Nelson – the maestro – headed the holy trinity of Eighties pop.
Sign O’ The Times heralded a new age, and rock ‘n’ roll’s last hurrah. Technology rules now, but Prince stood alone.