iBlog: November 2009


Tomorrow's blog today

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stephen Fry

'nuff said.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Bennyfingers Trio update

... is a long way off so far but it's somewhere on a couple of horizons on from now.

The masterplan is that this great jazz adventure will get me to somewhere near the standard of Fred Hersch so I can pick up a brush-stick drummer and stand up bassist and we can tour the classiest joints of Norwich and, um, Harleston.... Yaxley maybe?? (Don't worry I'll give my band cool Jaaaaaazz names like*).

Here are the problems in order of importance:

1) I don't got me no talent maaaaaaan. But I'm working on it. Imporivsations are harder in the blues scale than in the diatonic scale so that's hard. Also blues accidentals touching on aleotoric from a blues scale, and mad melodies don't make the actual bein able to play side of playing something of a substantial stumbling block. Alliteration or no alliteration.

2) Norwich don't got no taste for jaaaaazz. The first and/or only time I've seen jaaaaazz live was the infamous Dale Hambridge Trio that I keep going on about, (and I was very close to seein the Robert Glasper trio but that doesn't count). Anyway, that was in Bath where they have taste. In fact the only other Jaaaaazz place I know in these collective aisles of the united Britain is Ronnie Scotts and that's not really dingy enough for the Bennyfingers trio. Actually I tell a lie, in the waffle house down St Benedicts/St Giles street we heard a jazz guitarist play which was pretty cool. Oh yeah and a jazz pianist on my 18th at the Wine Press by the exchange hall. But aside from that Norwich isn't really a contemporary jaaaazz city.

3) I don't have a jaaaazz hat. And La doesn't encourage the endeavour relating to the procuring thereof. If you don't know what a jaaazz hat looks like: a) WTF?!1 b) Linky Link.

By the way, the jury is still out on which is better out of Bennylegs and Bennyfingers so any feedback welcome. Feel free to stop me in the street any time of day or night, or send your answers on a postcard to PO Box 56789. Alternatively you can contact our `Jaaaazz name hotline` on 07890 189 390. Calls cost 15 from a UK Landline and mobile costs vary significantly. Make sure you get the permission from the person who pays the bill.

* Current jazz names include:
- Jackson Jeffery Jackson
- Lupo
- Little Man Cub (if a bandmember is short enough)

- Byron Valentino One Man Love Show

(a lot of those names have been plagerised from current and old members of Babyhead, the ska band)

Monday, November 09, 2009


I have a theory that `beauty` as an artistic concept is much more absracter than people give it credit for. Arty people often call renaissance frescos and landscapes with a photoshopped skies beautiful... which I spose they are. In the play Closer (By Paddy Marber), there's this quote when two people meet at an arty exhibition.

Larry: [on a photography exhibit] What do you think?
Alice: It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.
Larry: I'm the big fat liar's boyfriend.
Alice: Bastard!

Anyway. The Gospel according to Bennyfingers (yes, I've changed from Bennylegs to Bennyfingers) says Alice is wrong... Bohemians say that beauty and truth are intrinsic*  so I like this exhibition

Linky Link,

because it's an honest, unembelished portrayal of Britain. An no one loves a Big Fat Lie.

That's all I've got to say about that really.

* (according to Moulin Rouge as that's the only education I've really had on early last centry Parisien bohemia)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bennyleg's Jaaazz Odyssey

The newest addition to the Blah household is my overstrung Zender upright piano and I well love it I do me. When I was your age I used to loose myself in music to alleiviate the statutory pain of growing up as a 2000s teenager. At home alone, in groups, at GCSE, in church, I'd fit music in wherever I could. I even produced John Galea's work, before he started getting professionals to do it - that's why it sounds crap now.

When I was 13-18 I felt I was defined by music, which suited me right down to the ground, but then when I moved in with the current Mrs Foster we had no room or indeed cash for a piano so for the last five years I've been pianoless... until now. (woo). Infact, buying the piano was something of a whim. We went round our new church's pianist's house for tea on the Saturday and after a late night tinkle bought a Piano on the Sunday.

So here we are again. Ben and piano, side by side ready to push the boundries of catharsis and bad rudiments. However, as a grown up I want to learn jaaaazz, whereas before I learned Bach and Mission Praise. Which leads me into something of a Jaaazzz Odyssey.

It turns out that Jaaazz is something of a broad encompasing term. From blues, to boogie woogie, to midnight jaaazz, to big band rock and rolla. I'm loving scouring all the resources I can find to get my jaaazz on. youtubes, Spofity, mySpaces, sheet music, old sheet music, and my piano teacher, Miss Sam Coe, founder and decorator of the wharf.

In an ideal world, I'd like to sound like Dale Hambridge. Utter legend in my eys. Go on, have a listen. Go on, I'll wait here - click it!

Told you it was worth it.

Dale Hambdrige Trio aside, it doesn't take long to find some amazing specimens of jaaaazz laying around. See what Jooles Holland and Dr John got up toback in the day

How skill is that?

Or how about this?

Still not convinced? Okay, how about, less talent more style?

Even satirical jaaaazz sounds brilliant

That's what I'm liking about jaaaaazz. No rules - only guidelines. Mad scales, insane rhythms, and unpredictable improvisations. I'm looking forward to being able to tame the jazz beast. First though I need to figure out the differnce between blues and jaaaaazz as they sounds the same to me.

Oh, and one last thing - jaaaaaazz players have cool names like `Blind Boy Fuller`, `T-Bone Walker`, `Sleepy John Estes`, `Barbecue Bob` etc so I'm wondering what my jaaaaazz name should be. I'm thinking `Bennylegs` but not sure if that's rubbish. Let me know what you think.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

`U suk` syndrome.

This internet's a funny old place, innit.

It's a bizarre paradox built 'pon anonyminitnity and interaction, which makes it a curiously fractious base for socialising. It's fine if you is thick skinned - or stupid as insults won't affect you, but it's all too easy in the user-soup that is youTube to be insulting.

The term `u suk!1 [sic]` is branded about like a Japanese army in a brothel.

Take a look at one of my favourite smear campaigns...

Well that's a copy of the actual original because ther were so many people calling this guy a homo in whatever creative form that he deleted his account. But you can see how easy (and to some people, tempting) to apply u suk syndrome to the situation.

Anyhoo, that's why I like

this story. It's grown up and a brief glimpse of normality on this crazy mixed up interconntectednetwork we all the `broadularband`. Good old Mr Fry. Here's a link to his blog incidently. Worth a read. Linky Link