Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gadjo’s Video Jukebox #6

We’re back to that party in Bucharest. The Bucharest, that is, before Ceauşescu knocked it down to make way for something he’d seen on Dallas only 10 ten times bigger. Here’s Gabi Luncă, a tribute to hydrogen peroxide and Romanian dentistry – and also Elena Ceauşescu’s favourite singer, which is no recommendation at all - singing about a glass of something. The food still doesn’t seem to have arrived though. I reckon Mrs Ceauşescu (pictured) has intercepted it between the kitchen and the tables and traded it with some gypsies for a new velvety dress and some more plastic flowers. But Gabi is a very charming performer and the party will kick off soon I’m sure. You would buy a sprig of used lucky heather from this woman.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gadjo’s Bottommost Vampires

Now, I’ve got a problem here, as in the inverted world of vampirism it’s likely that being a bad vampire means being a good vampire, if you get what I mean. But I’ll just go with what I know. After the previous, seemingly ill-informed top vampires offering, you’ll be pleased to hear these vampires are at least all from Transylvania, (or thereabouts)!

#5 Domnişoară X

Somebody I've worked with in an office. Wears only black, like a goth. Though I know she’s intelligent etc, she is the possibly the most cold-blooded person I’ve ever met – she wouldn’t piss on me if I was on fire (though, come to think of it, I wouldn’t want her to). Vampire. And yet, she let herself down: a runaway canary once flew into the office; some of the lads were so thrilled they went out and bought a cage and some birdseed; it then flew over to sit on a windowsill near X, but instead of seizing upon it savagely and stuffing it alive into her mouth à la Jonathan Harker she just went back to her work. Sorry, but for me that’s poor vampiring.

#4 Vlad The Twat

The first Romanian male (I hesitate to use the word “man”) I ever met; a colleague at the Open University and somebody who narrowly avoided getting thrown into a very prickly holly bush. He obsessively generated rumours that other people were homosexuals - and inclined toward the younger end of the market at that - a hobby which could have earned him very good money in the country of his birth up until the year 2000. But he was raised in Switzerland, which kind of makes him even more of a twat. I'm spreading rumours that he is crap at everything, including being a vampire of course.

#3 Tracey Emin

Actually, Mr Can Bass 1 pointed this one out. She claims her father is Turkish but that’s Transylvanian enough for me – heck, there were more Ottomans through here than there ever were Romans, and it’s a surprise we aren’t speaking a dialect of Turkish. She’s exhibited works like “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With" and that unmade bed thing. She wants to shock us – just like a crap vampire would. Gadjo Dilo applies to such artworks the Gadjo Dilo Theory of Art Criticism, which is: If Gadjo Dilo could have done them then they are surely crap.

#2 Draga Olteanu-Matei

A Romanian actress with a distinguished film career from the 1950s to the present day. A decidedly matronly woman but effortlessly the most watchable thing on the screen. And however plump and mature she was she oozed sexuality in a way I find hard to describe – however, the lack of movie stills of her in her pomp rather suggests that I am alone in this view! Probably not a vampire, but she’s in this list of bottommost vampires simply because her bottom was the mostest.

#1 Mrs Dilo

Top of nearly every list, including this one. All requests to bite my neck and suck out my blood till I’m reeling like that sick kid in Airplane have been refused, and I respect her for it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Somechance Film Festival #2: 007

With... errrr... the release of a new Bond film (yeah, we’re a bit behind here), I feel the urge again to suggest titles for films that could be made. But with the exception of the current one – “Gromit of Wallace”?? - which just sounds silly, and maybe a couple of others, they're beginning to sound quite samey, like they’ve been rehashed from old ones. There’s a good reason for this: they’ll remind potential punters of previous Bond films they’ve chatted about endlessly with Keith from Accounts. So here are some new titles for Mrs Broccoli which would be sure-fire winners.

Never Say Something Again

Bond caper in which 007 can never repeat himself. The name’s Bond, James.... errr.... that thing I just said, it’s a link between 2 people, or a financial agreement, rhymes with “pond”.... errr.... oops, oh dear, I’ve said “errr” before haven’t I? Nicholas Parsons is 007.

Dai Tomorrow

Bond is up against a new nemesis, the Welshman of the title, who promises he’ll forestall unleashing the mighty forces of Dynorwic reservoir upon the world - that’s an area 54,437.78 times the size of Wales - if Bond ensures that Wales will no longer be used as a ridiculous measuring stick for unrelated things. No Good Boyo is the eponymous villain and 007 – it’s that kind of film – and acquits himself excellently in both roles.

Candida Royalle

A biopic of the pioneer of pornographic films for women. As usual Bond gets lots of shagging, but then has to do the washing up, take the rubbish out, give her a nice long back massage, and spend an hour in her wardrobe helping her choose a dress. Kel Knight from TV’s Kath & Kim is 007.

Dr Yes

The World is being held to ransom by a generous altruist and his cheesecloth smock-wearing henchmen. He listens attentively and tries to see all sides of a point of view - he just wants to make the world a nicer place. After being asked for the umpteenth time whether he’d like a cup of tea, 007 finally loses his patience. Sean Connery IS 007.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Song in the Style of A Nutter

I’ve been longing to play some Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and here’s my chance. (It may also enable me to sashay stylishly into a series of posts entitled “R U Bonkers??”, a sideways look at the world of insanity, which I’m thinking of doing.) Screamin’ Jay was possessed of a terrific voice and a total lack of any sense of boundaries. He should have been more celebrated than he was. His most famous song is the typically voodoo-themed I Put A Spell On You, made famous – in surely one of the best cover versions of anything ever - by Nina Simone*. But here's Jay himself - in what appears to be the USA version of Jazz Club (nice!) - doing a cover of that white-man’s homage to the African-American, Ol’ Man River. He seems to be playing in the style of Les Dawson at the beginning - I'd like to think he's cocking a snook at the overly po-faced host, who introduced us to him earlier with the line "he jumped out of a coffin and into our hearts" - but wait until 1:42 minutes in before he really starts to nutter up:

* Unfortunately there seems to be no video available with the studio version of this song, but this live clip maybe indicates how the incomparable Nina made it her own.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yet Another Song in the Style of Another

I reckon that almost everything sounds better if done in a punk style. But then I was a 15-year-old in 1977. (I suppose if I'd been 15 in 1877 then I'd want everthing played as a Viennese Waltz, wouldn't I). Sunderland's The Toy Dolls are experts at this sort of thing. For adrenaline junkies here's their version of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance. And here's their Livin the Vida Loca: I just love to hear Geordie coming out of Ricky Martin's gob, and let's face it what vida could be more loca than living in Sunderland and looking like this:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Song in the Style of Another

Further to Gyppo Byard's latest one song in the style of another entertainment, which features a Transylvanian ensemble, I'd like to present Fanfare Ciocârlia. Heck, you probably already know them, they're very big in Japan (imagine... you're shunned for being a dirty gyppo by the slappers in your native Moldova only to then get legions of Japanese teenagers screaming and throwing their knickers at you). This is their version of Born to Be Wild, as featured on that film of the Mr Borat, who's a pula:

Friday, January 9, 2009

One song in the style of another

Gyppo Byard has instigated posting videos of well-know songs played in a style disimilar to that originally intended. I'm not sure the banjo version of Motörhead's "Ace of Spades" can be topped, but here's something along a similar line - once again coming From (Little) Russia with L'vov - it's an accordion version of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell". The studio version of this actually sounds a bit more like a folk song. If one were on a highway to hell - and who hasn't been, at some time or other - one would want accordians.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gadjo’s Top Vampires

Noted vampire chaser and scholar No Good Boyo has recently raised the subject of vampires from its coffin. As I live in Transylvania, people - or the “un-undead”, as I’m required to call them - often ask me about vampires. “What are they really like?”, “Do you know any personally?”, “Can you get my friend Tina a date with one??” etc etc... Oh it really does get tiresome. So, to satisfied people's prurience - yes, alright, my own included - I've composed a top five list of vampires. The fact that they're all female and have no proven track record of vampirism is neither here nor there.

#5 Nigella Lawson

Gentleman Gyppo Byard recommended Ms Lawson’s book How To Be A Domestic Goddess so I bought it for Mrs Dilo for Christmas. Sadly, the cover picture is not of the raven-haired raver herself but of a fairy cake, but one could still imagine her as a vampire if one wanted to, and the recipes do look rather enticing. As the late Humph Lyttelton said: “Bakewell, tart!”.

#4 Spampyra

a.k.a. The Soup Dragon. A dinner lady we used to have at skool. She dished up the liver and onions, boiled cabbage, custard, “pink sauce” (eh, what was that?), toads (individual toad-in-the-holes), gravy and, yes, Spam fritters. Maybe she wasn’t a vampire at all but her hair was always a mess which is a sure sign that she couldn’t see her reflection in the mirror of a morning.

#3 Frøken X

X was a real woman I knew in Denmark, stunningly attractive as a fairytale princess, tall with high cheekbones and long blond hair. She was also several loaves short of a bread basket. She invited me to dinner once and after we’d eaten the soup she'd made and listened to Bowie records she started laughing manically about ways in which she could do away with her father. She then married an eminently unpleasant and expendable chap who died of unknown causes a few months later.

#2 Fennella Fielding

Frying Tonight!! Vampish actress and one of the few truly horny things in pre-Summer-of-Love Britain. I also have loving memories of her in The Poetry Society episode of Hancock’s Half Hour. She’s got actual Romanian blood in her, and “never married” – we all know what that means... I reckon No Good Boyo does, and it’s really only to leave Fennella for his own more expert consideration that she doesn’t quite make the #1 spot here.

#1 Kate Bush

Kate Bush is not a vampire, she is the woman I loved, but she has long dark hair and dances like a maniac so she’ll do as a vampire. As a teenager I used to lie feverishly awake at night listening to her songs on my portable cassette player, so everything I know about women (and therefore vampires) I learnt from Kate. It was also for her that I started going to expressionist mime classes – bless!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nature Morte

On our New Year excursion Mrs Dilo managed to both slake her passion for dead animal and get some rugs for our new house*. Here they are, and of the pictures I took it was she who asked me to post this one, possibly the most coquettish, so don’t blame me:

Clockwise from her left earhole they are Estonian ermine, Belarusian badger, Norwegian Blue mink and Arctic monkey. At least that’s what the shepherd told us. I put it to him that they are all sheep, except number 2, which is a dog. But he retorted that arctic monkey is much favoured by Swedish royalty, that the “wisteria rinse” I’d remarked upon in number 3 is it’s natural winter colouration, that the simple urine-hued sheepskin I’d wanted is "very 2008", that style never goes out of fashion and that I shouldn’t be so jejune. Needless to say I parted with most of the money in my wallet in simple admiration at the audacity of the man.

* Oh, lordy, if this blog becomes like Radio 4’s Home Truths promise you will come over here and shoot me.