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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 18, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    Culture shots: Spacey films, why David Bowie hates spelling, and a little Levon Helm

    Laurence Mackin

    It’s been a little light of late on the arts blog, mainly because we’ve been doing other things such as this and this. But here’s a mixum-gatherum of arty nuggets to get us back into the groove and back into your good books.

    KEVIN BARRY is one of Irish fiction’s most adventurous writers, and his latest book, a collection of short stories called Dark Lies the Island, is no exception. You can read one of the pieces, in his typically economical and quietly brutal fashion, over here, in case you missed it on our Arts pages in recent weeks.

    SPACE: THE FINAL FRONTIEROr at least it was until about 1946 when this footage was taken, the first ever images of the Earth as seen from beyond its atmosphere. Stirring stuff indeed.

    THE SUMMER SESSIONS, due to take place in Iveagh Gardens this summer, have now been cancelled. So you won’t get to see the likes of The Stranglers, The Human League, Sharon Shannon, Razorlight, Stereo MCs, The Undertones or The High Kings in the park’s leafy surroundings (I can’t say I’ll be losing much sleep over those options). Meanwhile, Massive Atttack have pulled out of Derry’s Peace One Day concert on June 21st due to those pesky “unforeseen circumstances”. Now that is a proper sickener.

    IN 1952, Andy Farren and Padraig MacBrien set up Lensmen Press and Public Relations Photographic Agency, and in the years since they have collected more than 2.6 million negatives covering 60 years of Irish history. The company has now digitised its images and the archive is searchable over here, including opening night at the Abbey Theatre. An elegant blast from the past.

    Do not let this man near David Bowie, for the sake of your own sanity

    THERE’S AN INTRIGUING interview over on the Guardian’s website with sometime hip hop king pin Tricky, where he’s quite open and honest about how being famous made him something of a tool. He’s set to perform his debut album, 1995’s Maxinquaye, live again with original collaborator Martina Topley Bird.

    Now, within this piece there’s a link to a terrifyingly pretentious interview from 1995 with Tricky, written by none other than David Bowie. It’s truly car-crash awful stuff, if you can wade through the errors and wayward symbolism – and the editors (and here I’m assuming they were bound by some pre-agreement with Bowie) have taken the unusual step of changing not a single letter of Bowie’s original copy. Sub-editors of the world, you are welcome.

    AND TO END, something terribly sad. Levon Helm, drummer with The Band and Grammy-award-winning musician, is at the end of his life. Levon is the epitome of what most musicians can only hope to be, and, with Rick Danko, was one half of perhaps the finest rhythm section ever to put a groove to a beat. Here he is, with Danko and the rest of The Band, singing The Weight, with a little help from the Staple singers. Sublime.

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