16 Shraban - Year 1414 (Bengali)
Time for an update, I suppose. Well, the flood waters have receded - not fast enough for people in Gloucestershire and Hull (even some parts of Oxfordshire). Luckily, our bit of Oxford escaped unscathed.
I watched Pan's Labyrinth last week and I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't really what I was expecting--but then I'm not quite sure what I was expecting. I suppose something a bit more "aerie-faerie" and other-worldly, but in Guillermo Del Toro's vision, even the dream-world the main protagonist "escapes" to contains it's own frights and dangers. The magical creatures contrast neatly with the "monsters" of Franco's fascist stormtroopers (the film is set in 1940s Spain), but there is more gruesome and brutal violence shown in the "real" world, especially by Captain Vidal, played as a flawed, but ultimately reprehensible tyrant, by a brilliant Sergi Lopez. I won't divulge the entire plot, so no spoiler warning is needed--but it follows a familiar device from several myths, Grimm's tales and even The Silence Of The Lambs. The ending seems a bit ambiguous--"is" it happy or sad? I don't really know--I suppose both. Not really one for the young'uns, but worth a look.
The not-so-beloved Rover Metro finally got to be more hassle than it was worth. We had the garage fix the clutch and the central locking...and then the speedometer went. So instead of throwing more money at it and hoping it would last a bit longer, we decided to finally opt for a new(er) set of wheels. We chose a 2004 Ford Ka. It has fairly low mileage and seems to be in pretty good shape. So that was settled, but unfortunately, all of our spare cash was put toward the auto, making it impossible for me to join the 2007 MLA Euro-Meet-up, but it looks like the guys had a great time, which is cool.
In other MLA news, the "Angel Tech" course finished a few weeks ago. I really liked it and definitely gained some insights into the "8-circuit brain" theory and my own relation to the circuits. Antero Alli, author of the "Angel tech" book and leader of the course, will be offering it again next February. I may take it again, as I didn't complete all of the tasks this time around. There's also an Angel Tech forum at Tribe.net , if you're interested. Another groovy thing starting up is self-directed courses--there's two offered so far, The Tale Of The Tribe, a sort-of extension of the course that R.A.W. himself ran a couple of years ago. The other is Meta-Magick, which was run by Philip H. Farber. I'm definitely going to check out the T.O.T.T. course - I regret not joining up at the MLA sooner and missing out on Pope Bob's instruction, but I've got a 'second chance' to at least go through the material. You can get a bit more info here (the Deepleaf Productions site and the MLA site seem to be down at the moment)--if something like that might interest you, then give it a go!
Pixie and I both received e-mails from Singing Bear this past week and it seems he's doing alright. He's been poorly lately and we have been worried about him. Good to know he received the discs we've sent him also. Here's to the Bear's improving health--hope he'll be able to post something soon!
Mark D., over at Cheek, luckily wasn't involved in the horrific bridge collapse that happened in Minneapolis this past week. Alycia N., another Minnesotan I know, wasn't there either--so that's good news in the midst of a serious tragedy. I suspect there'll be a lot of finger-pointing in the coming days about whose "fault" it was that the collapse happened and caused four (and possibly more) deaths.
I haven't had much in the way of new music in the past few months - but it looks like a new Super Furry Animals record is about to hit the street. We've got tickets to their gig at the "new & improved" Carling Academy Oxford (formerly The Zodiac) on October 26th. The previews of the new album seem good and they haven't let me down yet..even though I really only spun Love Kraft a few times (I'll have to listen to it again). We were watching the Newsnight Review last Friday and at the very end was Richard Hawley performing an acoustic version of one of his new tunes, Tonight The Streets Are Ours. He's still got his 50s-style quiff and Buddy Holly specs--but he can still reel 'em out in his Sheffield twang, so I think his new one might be added to the collection. I've been meaning to buy the new Psychic TV as well and Mark has recommended the Von Sudenfed album. I can't think of anything else I really want at the moment (besides various re-issues).
We're off to Cropredy on Thursday for the annual Fairport Fest. This year promises to be a good'un - with the '69 line-up performing Liege & Lief all the way through (minus the late Sandy Denny, of course - Chris While will be performing in her stead). Richard Thompson will be in full-band mode--promoting the excellent Sweet Warrior album. Seth Lakeman and the re-formed Strawbs (which comprises most of the 1974 Hero And Heroine line-up) promise to be pretty decent as well. I wasn't too impressed with some of the 'unknowns' last year, so there may be a few surprises of folky greatness here and there, too. I'll post a full report when we're back. 'Till then...