February – the month of failed New Years Resolutions, pancakes and sickly sweet romance. Whether you’re in holy matrimony or not, here’s a list of things we’ve fallen head over heels for in the past few weeks, plus a snapshot of upcoming things you should slip in your Filofax.
Rob’s events of the month
Light Show, Hayward Gallery, until 28th April
Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery has a fine track record in hosting interactive contemporary exhibitions full of spectacle and a striking use of scale. Light Show is no different, and features an array of installations, sculptures, projections and other works from the 1960s to the present, in a collection exploring our perception and sensory relationship with light.
Book Slam, Clapham Grand, 7th February
Book Slam returns on the verges of Valentines day to launch Marry Me, a new collection of short stories by Dan Rhodes. Rhodes’ books are odd, eery and affirming, written with a voice entirely his own. He’ll be joined by thirty-six year old comic and known bath-fiend Tim Key, who can be seen reading of one of Marry Me‘s stories in the video below. Completing the line up are musician Aidan Moffat and writer Francesca Beard. So snap your ticket up now, and be sure to check out the Book Slam podcast, too.
Alex Horne and the Horne Section, various dates
February is a busy month for the versatile and underrated comic Alex Horne. He’ll be delivering comedy-infused jazz whilst fronting five-piece ensemble The Horne Section at The Invisible Dot’s King’s Cross HQ on the 2nd and 11th. The troupe are also recording their second Radio 4 series this month; act fast and you could bag yourselves tickets to a session at BBC’s Radio Theatre. In addition, The Hornster will MC Live at the Chapel on February 16th, on a bill headlined by Adam Buxton and also featuring Issy Sutie and Paul Foot.
Luke’s things of the month
Over the last year, podcasts have overthrown my music listening habits. From bourgeoisie mutterings on American Public Radio’s The Dinner Party, to Slate’s literature chat with the Audio Book Club. But what I have found myself most obsessive with over the past few weeks is The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Daily Buzz podcast. After an eight month absence, the podcast returns with an all guns blazing look at the recent Sundance Film Festival. Through a series of daily episodes, host Eugene Hernandez chats with festival organisers, filmmakers and industry experts about the shape of independent cinema in America, and what we can expect to be filling our Arthouse cinemas in the months to follow.
I’m not sleeping much these days; probably getting around four hours kip every night. Spending most of my day festering in front of a computer screen certainly doesn’t help, but it’s let me track down some amazing old music, best of all is unearthing the work of American blues artist, Elizabeth Cotten. In a similar vein to Odetta (who also drops the occasional Bob Dylan cover), her rudimentary, upside-down guitar plucking and frangible singing voice has a haunting quality; both emotionally raw and affecting. It may have lead to a few sleepless nights, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
From fifties folk to futurist pop, February in Copenhagen is exciting for many reasons, and none more so than the month-long FROST Festival. With a selection of special live performances from musicians such as wonky electro-loon Dan Deacon, to Denmark’s finest neo-classicist pianist Nils Frahm. If you’re gonna be in Copenhagen this month, this is what you need to keep yourself busy doing. Be on the look out for a dishevelled ginger guy too, ‘cos there’s no way I’m missing out on any of this.
As if that wasn’t enough to put on your plate this month, here’s the only essential guide you’ll need for Shrove Tuesday this year.