Friday, February 28

The Bad Plus, a jazz trio from Minnesota, played the Linen Hall Library (est. 1788) in Belfast last night. The set was imaginative and fun with the group enjoying themselves as much as the audience. Their current CD on Sony, These are the Vistas, supplied most of the material, though they've added I Will Survive and Every Breath You Take to their trademark portfolio of inventive covers. Compositions not on the album included Neptune the Planet (a mood piece played over a feedback tape) by bassist Reid Anderson and a great blues-based number which pianist Ethan Iverson didn't introduce. From the Vistas material, we heard an ecstatic 1972 Bronze Medalist, written by drummer Dave King, and of Iverson's numerous tunes, Boo-Wah sounded particularly good, though The Gudgeon couldn't work out which one of the Chopin etudes it reminded him of.

Thursday, February 27

An interview with David Cronenberg, mostly discussing his excellent film Spider.
The Gudgeon is keen on Freedom Suite by the David S. Ware Quartet. It's also listed as one of the best albums of 2002 in a round-up by The Wire magazine. The G was converted to Ware's music by seeing the quartet perform last year, here in Belfast at the Festival.
Reminiscences of magic mushrooms from Jeremy Clarke of The Spectator.
Here's a clip of Mark E Smith from The Fall appearing on The Adam and Joe Show, courtesy of Stephen Bending's website. Thanks to Fall News for the link.

Wednesday, February 26

Christopher Hitchens: I wanted it to rain on their parade
Welcome to The Gudgeon.