You know how much we like free stuff here at Londonist, so we're particularly happy to see that on Saturday 18 June, the RFH Ballroom and other spaces are host to The Word & Patti, a free day of readings and music, with opportunities to debate, write and even perform, inspired by the festival director and some of her key literary and cultural influences and collaborators.
On Sunday 26 June, a similar free day titled Rock My Religion, provides an opportunity to see and discuss Dan Graham's classic documentary, featuring Smith, exploring the relationship between religion and rock music in contemporary culture.
For the duration of Meltdown, the RFH Ballroom serves as a focal point for festival-goers. When not hosting pre- and post-show concerts and free events, the space provides a haven for visitors to simply lounge, take in a book or two from the specially-gathered collection, or find out more about some of the literary figures referenced in the festival. So if you couldn't get tickets to the paid events, you can still soak up the atmosphere.
We tend to be a bit biased towards music in these updates, so before we get to that, something for those of you more interested in the other arts.
In Paris Nous Appartient at the Purcell Room on 17 June, director Jacques Rivette builds a fascinating and complex tale around a group of creative people in late 1950s Paris. A glimpse into the New York Beatnik counterculture life of around the same time is available in Pull My Daisy, narrated by Jack Kerouac, shown as a double bill with Jean-Luc Godard’s Dante-influenced exploration of war, Notre Music. There is another double bill on 22 June: Bresson’s masterpiece Au Hasard Balthasar, concerning a much abused donkey whose life parallels that of his first owner, and Cocteau’s Orphée, the perfect marriage between Greek legend and the film-maker’s own personal mythology. A screening of Still Moving, a film made by Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith is confirmed as part of The Coral Sea event on Wednesday 22 June.
Thursday 16th June is the night for Pages From Chaos, an evening in homage to author William S Burroughs, at the QEH. J Spaceman, Matthew Shipp and Patti Smith will be performing as a trio, Marc Ribot will perform solo, and Alan Moore (as advised in an earlier post) and Iain Sinclair will be giving readings.
John Giorno, self-described as a 'proto-punk, gay, Tibetan Buddhist poet', who has produced numerous spoken-word albums, books and videos across a 40-year career, and Janet Hamill, poet, author, performer and long-time friend and mentor to Smith, are at the Purcell Room on Tuesday 21 June.
Also just added is an event which would excite the George Galloways amongst us: Peacable Kingdom: War and the Innocent.
Inspired by the work of the young American humanitarian activist Marla Ruzicka, who died in a car bombing in Baghdad in April, this program is dedicated to the misunderstood and feared populations of 'foreign' wars. Joseph Strik's short film Interviews With My Lai Veterans, made in 1971 as the Vietnam War wound down, has a breathtaking, devastating resonance in the age of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (aka 'Gitmo', for the illiterate/hip amongst you). The event also features live readings by Tilda Swinton from the work of the late Susan Sontag. A first-hand account of the most recent debacles in winning hearts and minds is provided by the distinguished writer Jon Lee Anderson, who covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the New Yorker magazine and is known for his empathy and cinematic eye. Smith contributes the revelatory finale.
Sandy Pearlman, music producer (Blue Oyster Cult, The Clash) and rogue academic described as 'the Hunter Thompson of rock, a gonzo producer of searing intellect and vast vision' by The Billboard Producer’s Directory, shares his controversial views about the state of the music industry at the Purcell Room on 23 June.
The most mainstream (if that term can really be applied to such an excellent collection of esoteric and interesting events) of the new announcements is the line-up for 17th June. Mick Jones (The Clash) and Tony James (Generation X), in their collaboration Carbon/Silicon, co-bill with Rachid Taha at the RFH. Ticket holders for that can later on go on to the RFH Ballroom and enjoy the noisy drone-rock of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
A week later, on 23rd June, the homage to Bertolt Brecht at the RFH now features Sparks, The Tiger Lilies (pictured left) and David Thomas, in addition to the Stand Bravely Brothers. The next night's excellent-sounding event exploring UK/US Folk Connections has new additions Robin and Bina Williamson.
And, to wrap up this post full of additions, news of a deduction: due to unforeseen commitments John Frusciante, previously announced, is now unable to attend. His Red Hot Chilli Peppers mate Flea remains confirmed for event on 26th June, celebrating the work of Jimi Hendrix.
Tickets for events can be booked by phone (087030 808 300) but seeing as you're online anyway, you can always go to: http://www.rfh.org.uk/meltdown to book online.