New Thrill for 2010! (Actually, it looks a lot like the Fairly Old Thrill we used to do here called Hidden Agendas, only less hidden. But anyway...)
MONTH END PROCESSING FOR JANUARY 2010
Art: Pop Life at Tate Modern (now finished) was a handy overview of the commercial end of the modern art scene. Piotr Uklański's The Nazis and Takashi Murakami's Japanese overload were the highlights for me: the usual BritArt suspects didn't come out so well by comparison. Higher quality British art was on offer at the Cartoon Museum with their fine collection from 30 Years Of Viz (also now finished).
Books: Is it terrible to admit that the only book that I read in January was Monkey Round The World? Mainly because its production was a slightly rushed job, and this was the first chance I got to go through it and spot the three spelling mistakes, one minor formatting error and the joke I used twice. Why not buy it for yourself and see if you can spot them? Or wait till the end of this month, when you'll be hearing about my second book...
Comics: It's not really a comic, but Alan Moore's new magazine Dodgem Logic is stupendous value for money at £2.50. Issue 1 is worth it just for Wendy Jarret's scrummy veggie recipes and the eclectic CD of Northampton bands, before you even get to the articles and artwork. Meanwhile, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá's Daytripper is turning out to be my favourite funnybook of the moment. We're two issues into a ten issue series, and each one so far has climaxed in a way that completely upends your expectations of where the story's going.
Movies: I know you're fed up of me going on about Bollywood movies, but you really should see 3 Idiots. It's the usual masala of daft jokes, musical numbers and overwrought sentiment, but for once it's wrapped in a smartly constructed script that's got some tough things to say about the Indian higher education system. The last time a Bollywood film was this well written, it was Lagaan, which (coincidentally?) also starred Aamir Khan. I'm less convinced about Shahrukh Khan's forthcoming My Name Is Khan, the Rain Man/9-11 crossover that nobody was really asking for.
Music: Gig of the month was The Hamsters at the Halfmoon Putney. At one point it looked like this would be one of the final shows at the venue, but instead it turned into a celebration of them dodging the bullet of closure. The Hamsters responded to the good news in their usual style, with their Hendrix covers sounding particularly impressive this time round. In terms of recorded music, the new Jaga Jazzist CD One Armed Bandit is currently floating my boat, and thanks to their Norwegian record company you can listen to a free stream of the entire album. It may not be around for long, so hurry hurry hurry.
Travel: No time for any actual travelling this month. Or, as you've probably noticed, for writing about last year's travelling like I promised I was going to. (My Christmas holiday writeup and the China videos should be coming some time soon...) However, during January we've managed to make plans for our next two major journeys. Regular readers might want to take a guess at where we're going: they'll probably be right.
In the meantime, your Simian Substitute Site for February 2010 is Werner Herzog Reads Curious George, the four minutes of video embedded above. Don't read the comments on the original YouTube page unless you like punching holes in your computer monitor. It may not be a perfect impersonation, but it's good enough to make the joke work, and for me that's all that counts. Feel free to visit Ryan Iverson's YouTube channel afterwards to see what else he's done, including more Herzog hilarity.
How about those comments, then? And be warned, my current policy is for all spambot comments to be relinked to my Lulu storefront, so don't even think about trying it again.