All entries for Thursday 28 October 2004
October 28, 2004
Our radio interview with The Others went out at 5.45 pm today on RaW
It was received rapturously!
To hear the ten-minute radio edit (or indeed the cocaine-snortin', Warwick Uni indicting, Agent Blue bantering(?) full-length, 75 minutes interview), please accost me against my will...lets say, outside CostCutters, or p'raps sitting unawares on the steps of the piazza, peacefully reading a book.
Writing about web page http://www.letskilltheothers.com
For anyone doubting the supremacy of Dominic Masters (Others' frontman), bow down immediately
They are superb
stage divin' et al
We (my RaW cohorts Vlad Skofenko and Tesco) got to interview him - and Agent Blue as well (support act, big stars in the future mark me words) – and he was lovely. Totally focussed on us for 'bout an hour, revealing some quite private stuff.
He let us stay in his dressing-room and hang aound before and after the show, surrounding by rock'n'roll backstage cliches and a huge amount of indie fashionistas.
Apart from frontin' this up'n'comin band this bloke is extremely friendly, and a fucking great showman too.
We missed the first band The Homewreckers Club on account of wanting to stay in the dressing-room and pretend we were cool, but also recovering from our mammoth fag and chocolate hunt around Coventry with Agent Blue (why the fuck is nowhere open in this so-called 'City' past nine o'clock?)
However I hot footed down into the cosy ickle arena for Agent Blue cos they were cool ole blokes and wanted to know how they scrubbed up on stage.
Turns out that the demure lanky lad that we'd chatted to about music and Subway sandwiches turned into a crazy mix between Richard Ashcroft and Liam Gallagher by just scruffing up his hair. He spent the majority of his stage time balancing precariously on the barriers, sliding and twisting aggressively, but with a twinkle in his eye for the hesitant crowd. He was backed by a bunch of young fellas who meant business. Dolled up in army shirts and angular haircuts they churned out a remarkably big and assured sound (one of the best i have heard from a support band), sweeping and ripping away, topped off with the frontman's repetitive, authorative wails.
Their set had come and gone in a "fuck me they're good", the band departing before the crowd could muster enough breath to summon them back on.
Go see Agent Blue...before they are too big and you can only make out their spikey hair and classic rock'n'roll stage moves
Where Agent Blue look like they have studied the rock-rule-book and are ready to break through and join their heroes, The Others do exactly what they say on the tin. They are 'them other ones'. They don't look like they are in a band, lest of all a band together. See 'em in the street and you will give them a second look, but only 'cos the singer looks like he hasn't slept for weeks, and the bass player seems to have come straight from the 'Grand Robert Smith Lookalike Tournament'It seems a Swedish porn-star (drums), a Prop forward (guitar), a Goth freak (bass) and a Workin-class hero (vocals) have all been locked in a room together with nothing but class-A drugs and their instruments, and told to create the most basic yet inspirational music this side of Pete Doherty's acoustic guitar.
Oppurtunists amongst you will jump on the NME bandwagon and role towards credibility on the back of The Others' street sound, but then again, that's great. That's what they want.
The Others' plan is this…Party with "the kids", make 'em your fans, give 'em your mobile number, release seemingly mindlessly obvious, sloganeering records and watch the buzz grow.
Underneath however the music reveals itself to be dark and inventive. It is both anthemic and accessible, while remaining to unique to be truely mainstream.
It is all a wirey mess of Joy Division bassline and shouty vocals. It is grunge and punk and indie and rock and electronic and brilliant.
I have to admit as one who'd consider himself vaguely 'priviliged' i felt a little pretentious singing at the top of my lungs to "This is for the Poor, and not you rich kids", especially when you know that Dominic Masters was born into council houses and drug dealing parents.
However, this problem is unavoidable. The Frenzy that the band whipped up in the front of the venue was akin to any i have seen (Franz, Libertines, White Stripes), with afficionados helping one another over the barriers and into the very welcoming arms of DomOthers.
The Others are often accussed of being one-dimensional and lowest denominator stuff. It is satisfying, then, that almost every song sounds fresh and different, with some really great tunes in the set ('How I Nearly Lost You', 'Stan Bowles', 'Lackey')…all with important messages and interesting lyrics.
Everyone left the night with a warm glow and tired legs, glowing from the warmth and passion of Dominic Masters.
With an album out in January you should hop on the bandwagon now, 'cos they are definitely worth it.
Using Roman Wall Paintings (frescos):
as 'Evidence' for Traditions of Staging in Greece.
These Roman frescos from Pompei were preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. around 500 years after the plays of Aeschyus, Euripides and Sophocles were first staged in Athens. They depict myths that were the subject of 5th-century Athenian tragedy, and that continued to be represented on the Roman stage, both in revivals of Greek plays, and in later plays written in Latin
i What are the main similarities and main differences between the way in which the death of Pentheus is depicted in this fresco and in Euripides' Bakkhai?
In Euripide's text Agave describes "slaughtering" her son, helped by Kadmos' daughters on the hill, "killed in a stunning way".
With her bare limbs she "tore his limbs off", leaving Pentheus "insanely butchered". It paints a picture of a vicious and horrid "hunt", carried out mainly by Agave, aided by the women also on the hill.
I think that the fresco manages to get across some of the ruthlessness and violence within the women, with Pentheus looking helpless in the middle of the painting. It is also obvious that there is a leader in the pack of women. However, the depiction of the women killing Pentheus with arrows and rocks is incongruous with Agave's statement that "clanging weapons are for cowards". It also fails to convey the sense of 'posession' or delirium in Agave.
*Another detail missed is the disguise that Pentheus was wearing in the scene; a disguise he rips off in an attempt to reveal his identity to his mother.*
Of course the violence in the play happens off-stage, and is in fact described by the chorus, and characters around...therefore we only have accounts of other people as to what actually happened.
ii. Compare and contrast the way in which the death of Iphigenia is depicted in this fresco with how it is recounted in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, and/or in Euripdes' play Iphigenia at Aulis.
This Fresco manages to convey the sense of despair that was felt at this sacrifice with the sadness shown on the men on the outshirts, as well as accurately following the details of Agamemnon (ie the two men lifting up Iphigenia, her robe falling to the floor). However, the picture doesnt appear to show an altar or gag, which are notable in the play, as well as Clytemnestra making libations. We also get a sense of divinity and an ordained act with the God-like figures appearing in the background of the picture.
iii. Why do you think the similarities and differences which you have identified may exist?
The differences in the two artistic forms could be there for several reasons. The artists in the Roman Frescos appear to be going for a romanticised view of these events (ie vulnerable, helpless death for Pentheus, rahter than a gory one/spiritual sacrifice, rather than Iphigenia being roughly handled)
The artists themselves may also be working off the myths of these events, rather than the exact text itself, and are likely to be projecting their own interpretation and imagination in their pictures.
iv. On reviewing your responses to the above questions, how useful do you find these Roman frescos to be as evidence for traditions of tragic performance in 5th-century Athens?
I think these Frescos are very useful tools, both as a way fo bringing the myths and text to life, giving us a reference point as to how staging or clothing may have looked at the the time, and also as evidence of the importance and popularity of the myths at the time, both in Greece, and later in Rome. It enables us to see how the Romans would have interpreted and enjoyed the Greek tragedies.
The House of the Tragic Poet in Pompei.
i. What different types of masks can you see?
These masks are full head masks, and very large.
*Some are held on sticks (which could be usefull to quickly portray one character for a moment) and some also capable of attaching to the face.*
They have hair and beards on the masks, and show old and young men (perhaps both depictions of Dionysus)
ii. What do you think is going on in this scene?
This scene could be a scene of Dionysus and his followers, partaking in wine and debauchery.
Frescos - depicting actors
i. What differences can you discern between the 'tragic' masks depicted in the frescos and the vase?
The masks depicted in the vases look generally more theatrical and character based than those in the frescos. The vase masks convey more emotion and appear in actual play situations, where they look very effective.
ii. Why might the masks be different?
Te Greek vases would be drawing exactly what they know the masks to look like (ie exaggerated face, theatrical), where as the Roman Frescos are drawing their interpretation of Greek masks and, it appears, have made them look more realistic than they actually were.
iii. Why do you think the ancient artists (and viewers) might have been so interested in depictions of actors and masks?
The artists would have been interested because of their fascination with Greek culture and art, and because they would have been interested to know how the masks would have conveyed story and emotion, and in what way they'd have been used.
*The masks also allow the artist to use an amount of artistic licence and imagination that simple stage drawings may not have allowed.*
The Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii.
i. Is it similar or different in subject to the vases considered in Q.3 above?
The detail of this picture allows us to see the emotion and exxagerated expression in the mask (which would have been necessary for such a huge theatron). It is similar in style to the ones we have seen previously, and also similar in the way that it is being held up by the actor.
ii. What do you think the purpose of such paintings might have been?
The purpose of these drawings was to pay homage to the great event that took place in the theatron, and also to depict the myth that the play dealed with.
*It is a chronicle of theatrical performances, but we must treat the paintings with caution as the detail may have been distorted via artistic licence, or simply a lack of knowledge as to the exact form of theatre and the masks at the time.*