Tuesday, 29 September 2009
So that it can bear its days without shrinking
Like a soap, but be a head proudly shaping
Over the clouds into the white vanity it deserves
For its force. Dragging seas and women
Behind its back in a heavy bridal veil,
Horses envy its strength. Corpses
Leave sleep in their graves to hold
their hands under that lamp again,
My lamp, my kitchen lamp.
Monday, 21 September 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
How well I remember Mike Bongiorno's presentation of the San Remo festival. Who better qualified to introduce popular contemporary music to a new generation than a man in his late seventies? His co-host of the night, a spritely fifty-year-old, was under the impression Madonna would accept an interview in Italian. Though immediately evident Madonna's command of Italian didn't stretch beyond 'Buonasera, San Remo', this co-host laboriously persisted with question after question to a blank and increasingly annoyed Madonna. Of course it was Mike, Mike Bongiorno who saved the day, ushering Madonna away from her tormentor with promises to 'see you back in the States' in an impressive American accent. Mike, you did good work on Italian television and will be missed.
I cannot call to mind Mike Bongiorno without seeing the faces of other outstanding Italian presenters: Maria De Filippi; Red Ronnie. Still living? Surely yes. And surely not yet so antique they're ready to present the San Remo festival. Not yet ready, so I'm saying, to step into the shoes of one Mike, Mike Bongiorno. Maria De Filippi, wife of fellow television presenter Maurizio Costanzo, a man famed for his wit, though a wit of such subtlety it ran beyond my limited language skills to appreciate. How many long Saturday afternoons did I pass with Maria and her 'Amici', Roman juveniles with emotional problems and Invicta rucksacks? I cannot now recall, nor would I wish to.
Red Ronnie presented (still does I guess) an afternoon music show in which Italian teenagers would watch famous bands perform, and then submit questions to the band. One exchange I remember in particular. Following a performance by Suede of 'Beautiful Ones', which contains the line 'loved up, Doved up, hung around, stoned in a lonely town / shaking their meat to the beat,' an astute Italian girl asked Brett Anderson if the dove in that line represented the dove of peace.
Too big for afternoons only, Red also had an evening programme, during which he would tackle the main band on the show with an interview in English. During such occasions, which could be arduous affairs, I have to admit, I was always sympathetic towards Red who knew how to handle himself in a Q&A situation despite some notable revisions to the book of English grammar and syntax on his part. Alas, my sympathy was not shared by the army of Italian girls who would call the show on a routine basis to communicate to Red their opinion of his foreign language skills. But what did they know? Were any of those bilingual callers fronting a national television show? Are they now? Of course not.
We might have said to Mike Bongiorno arrivederci (or should that be a fussy arrivederla?), but young guns like Maria De Filippi and Red Ronnie survive him to carry his torch and perhaps in a decade or two, when of sufficient seniority, to present, as he did, the San Remo festival.
Friday, 4 September 2009
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Welcome to the latest addition to the Nutshell Magazine venture: the blog. This blog is our way to keep in touch and let you know that we’re still alive and well, and working hard to present you with a new edition of Nutshell very soon. After our glorious first appearance on the zine scene we received masses of excellent submissions, some great reviews, some donations and really warm words of encouragement – thank you! What we didn’t get was a big fat cheque from the Arts Council to make more Nutshells, but don’t worry: we have a plan. First of all we will continue to welcome your donations *here*, then we will miraculously multiply them by turning them into something else: our cover artist Siobhan Maguire is currently working on a design for our limited version Nutshell #1 T-Shirt! Only 100 will be printed and all funds will go towards issue two of Nutshell. So not only will you be buying a rare piece of wearable art, you’ll be producing a magazine at the same time! Imagine!
So add this page to your shortcut toolbar and stay in touch!