Excuse us for a perfunctory midweek news roundup this week. It's not that we're bitter about being left as the sole occupant of the Londonist Music Dungeon while others swan off to Glastonbury and New York (although we are very bitter). It's just that whilst the whip-cracking editor's away, the staff will play, and there's a lot of sunsheeeiiiine out there that we don't want to waste. Wireless-enabled laptop, you say? Sun glare on the screen, can't see a thing, we retort.
First off, Patti Smith's Meltdown at the RFH continues for the next few days and there are still some tickets left for a few events, so here's our top picks.
Tonight sees a film night at the Purcell Room, featuring Au Hasard Balthasar, Pull My Daisy and Gumby (the clayman mascot who's popping up throughout the festival, like a demented Morph). Tickets are £8 + a booking fee dependent on your patronage of the RFH. Full details of that, and the films, are here.
A free event worth popping into after work is tomorrow's Meltdown in the Ballroom. Students from Lilian Baylis Technology School, Lambeth, present a unique multi-arts performance revue, inspired by Brecht and the theme of injustice, mixing song, spoken word and live visuals. It starts at 6.30pm.
Stand Bravely Brothers (tomorrow at the RFH) still has some tickets left, which is a bit of surprise to us, as it sounds like a great night. It's a tribute to Bertolt Brecht, featuring Marc Almond, The Finn Brothers, Antony & The Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Dresden Dolls, Sparks, London Sinfonietta, The Tiger Lillies & Patti Smith. What a line up!
Our final tip is Friday night's US-UK Folk Connections which sees Lenny Kaye, Johnny Marr, Robyn Hitchcock, Roy Harper, Bert Jansch, Robin and Bina Williamson, Patti Smith and others exploring the best of folk music from the UK and US and exploring the connections between them.
Time, space and inclination prevent us from listing all the other events going on. Whilst some may be sold out, it's often worth checking with the RFH Box Office to see if there have been returns (such as those from certain reporters who ask for press tickets then swan off to Glastonbury - still bitter). Check the Meltdown webpage for details of the rest of the wonderful festival.
News of the second of the very special Ninja digital singles now: a live recording of Bonobo which is only available in the UK via download.
Simon Green aka Bonobo produces music which is all too often bracketed with the bland-out fest of fun that "Chill Out" has become - not without reason, in that he makes ultra-musical, accessible, relaxed beatscapes, but wrong-headedly in that, like Lemon Jelly, there's always a whole heap more going on than might immediately register. Complexity made effortless is what he's about. The quirk that's so good it sounds natural. Monkeying about to a purpose.
Bonobo's got a group a friends together and recorded a Live Sessions EP, featuring four Bonobo classics: Noctuary, Dismantling Frank, The Plug, and Nothing Owed, taken out of the laptop/sampler and reconstructed with live bass, drums, sax, keys, cello, guitars and electronics. Recurring is a brand new studio track recorded on the fly in this session. The EP is rounded out by the very beautiful and drummed-up Four Tet reworking of Pick Up.
As we said, it's only available via download so get clicking here.
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This week's MMN was brought to you with the assistance of R.E.M. - Murmur.