Friday, September 30, 2011

New writing in Itch, Jungle Jim, Klorofyl,

South African pulp-fiction hardcopy mag Jungle Jim has my short story, Assassin. Buy in South African shops...
South African e-mag itch and Nigerian e-mag Klorofyl feature my poems.  Click on the links to read.

Ah yes, I'm off to the Nigerian writer's residency, in Oyo State. :)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gaga is a fine actor but African music is way more fun

I love Lady Gaga's theatricality.


Her music itself is bland but good. It has technical merit, even if it's not rhythmically or melodically fun. It wouldn't survive the competition in Nigeria, like cheeseburger is not about to displace suya, shaki, or kpomo.

But what appalls me is how few of her songs I've actually heard. Should I try to become a fan?

One of the first I watched was Paparazzi - again, I love colourful theatrical videos, but really, what kind of melody is that? Also on TV, I saw a lot of Bad Romance, Poker Face, and (oddly enough) Telephone, in which Beyonce writhes and rasps on the video, to the taste of Nigerian audience viewers.

These songs all have obverse non-melodies, a bit like hearing a thrown pancake fall off a wall. What's the idea?

Then I watched You and I and much as I want to hate it, the video changed me, it's that clever, that artsy, very rich in story and imagery, very conscious of place - boring places where men and women kidnap each other for life. The melody too is actually good, in that middle-America (or middle Australia) kind of way. A little rock-history, bass guitar, country music = Not bad.

Today I saw a google chrome advert that featured The Edge of Glory and thought I've NEVER actually heard that before. Then I heard this tiny clip of Born This Way and yep, same thing: I've known for aeons that Gaga was "Born This Way" and that she has little devilsmonsters, the most twitter/facebook followers and most downloads or youtube views or something, but never heard one bar of the title track of her album.

Oh, did she do Just Dance? I know that one.

Guess I do live in a bubble inside a cave. Yet I run a kick-ass entertainment blog .

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

WS, aka Kongi, aka Anikuplapo's cousin, aka Old Man Swagga

Wole Soyinka's speech at the Nobel Banquet,

December 10, 1986

Your Majesties, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was inevitable that the Nordic world and the African, especially that part of it which constitutes the Yoruba world - should meet at the crossroads of Sweden. That I am the agent of such a symbolic encounter is due very simply to that my creative Muse is Ogun, the god of creativity and destruction, of the lyric and metallurgy. This deity anticipated your scientist Alfred Nobel at the very beginning of time by clearing a path through primordial chaos, dynamiting his way through the core of earth to open a route for his fellow deities who sought to be reunited with us, mortals. I covered that event for my publishers - well, taking a few poetic licences, naturally - under the title IDANRE. You may have run into that reportage which has been translated into Swedish under the title, OGUN SKUGGA. If you have not, I recommend that you proceed to the nearest bookseller for this piece of pre-history which makes Ogun, very definitively, the progenitor of your great inventor, Alfred Nobel.

I urge this especially because, if you happened to take a casual walk through the streets, or peer into the hotel lobbies of Stockholm, you might get the impression that my nation, Nigeria, has tried to solve some of its many problems by shifting half its population surreptitiously to Sweden. I assure you, however, that they have merely come to satisfy a natural curiosity about the true nationality of this inventor. For they cannot understand why their Ogun should have transferred such a potent secret to a Swede rather than to his Yoruba descendants. The mountains of Sweden are a tempting habitat for this deity, we know, but the Swedish winter and long midnights are hardly congenial to his temperament. And while the local acqua-vitae might help to infuse some warmth into his tropical joints, we do know that he tends to stick to his favourite palm wine.

Some day, I suppose, we will unravel this mystery. In the meantime, however, we will content ourselves with saluting the vision which made our presence here today a positive event, since it was Alfred Nobel's hope that the humanistic conversion, even of the most terrible knowledge, can improve the quality of life for mankind. That also is the lesson of Ogun, that essence of the warring duality of human nature. And we join in the endeavour that the lyric face of that demiurge will triumph in our time, snaring for all time that elusive bird - peace - on our planet earth.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1986, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1987

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1986

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Video

Noticed the video inserts in my recent posts?
It's nice to have somewhat decent internet, that's why I can actually watch and embed video without too much fuss.
Someday you'll read my"Video" poem: verse-coated raunchiness in which I'm well pleased.

Speaking of...I like Le'mmon. That's All (Explicit) is one of his many songs. Listen.
Here are a few more Mellow Yellow singles by Le'mmon: Radio, and Have you seen her.

Current mood: Floating