For this Tiny Desk Concert, it’s just her singing and Rick Holmstrom playing guitar. Staples sings two songs from her then new album (recorded at Wilco’s studio). In fact, the first song she sings “Only the Lord Knows” was written by Jeff Tweedy. It’s a great bluesy number. And Staples hits notes all over the place–it’s great.
Before the second song, she calls Rick Holmstrom “Pops Jr.” and he says “I wish.”
Next she plays “You’re Not Alone.” There’s a funny moment after the first verse where she forgets the words–she shouts “don’t tell nobody.” She says she was busy looking at all the friendly faces and got lost. But she comes back and knocks the song out.
For a brief encore she does a few verses and a chorus of “I’ll Take You There.” And you can hear the disappointment in the audience when she sings, “And that’s all for today” after a chorus. She is happy and claps and does apologize saying “you all will make me hurt myself.”
It’s amazing how good Mavis sounds after all these years, and how she wins over the crowd in an instant.
[READ: July 15, 2015] Ayoade on Ayoade
Richard Ayoade is best known by me as Moss on The It Crowd. Probably the most frequently asked question by me about him is how the Rhell you say his last name. The book does not help with that, although online searches reveal eye-oo-WAH-dee to be pretty accurate.
Ayoade cracks me up whenever I see him. And he even starts the funny before you open the cover of the book. The cover sticker notes: “Once in every generation, a man writes a book. This is that book. I am a man.”
I knew that Ayoade had recently released The Double (I read the screenplay), but I wasn’t aware of his previous film, Submarine. (I have subsequently watched it and enjoyed it very much–it’s an unusually dark comedy about young love). And these facts, along with maybe one or two others are what I gleaned from this book. The rest is pure nonsense–a right silly lark, full of Ayoade’s outrageously self-deprecating wit and scathing comments about his own writing, acting and directing skills.
The book is especially funny if you read it in Moss’ voice (which is basically Ayoade’s voice, but more so).
The premise of the book is that Ayoade is going to interview Ayoade. The lines of physical difference between the two versions of himself blur throughout the book. And the amount of fighting he does with Ayoade is pretty funny.
If you choose to read the book, do be sure to read the bit on the front page before the title page, lest you get severely yelled at by the end of the book (not kidding).
The book is indeed a kind of biography of Ayoade but there is really no telling if anything is true. For instance the timelines includes dates back to 1488 when DaVinci thought up the idea of ‘moving, projected images’ but forgot to tell anyone because he was so tired. I particularly liked the 1818 invention of the Perambulascope in which a spectator ran around a sequential series of images mounted inside an enormous circular drum. As we move through the years, 1968 notes: McG was born. Then in 1977 Ayoade is born. And by 1983 he had given up his deep philosophical enquiries in favor of jazz tap.
In 2004 Ayoade cocreated Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace a show that is not available for viewing in the states on DVD. This was later followed in 2006 by Man to Man with Dean Learner. 2011 saw the relase of Submarine and 2014 saw the release of The Double. Interestingly there is no mention of The IT Crowd (or his other successful productions) in this book.
The book satirizes pompous film directors who like to talk about themselves. Ayoade comes across as a vain narcissist who guzzles Lucozade:
-And as I say, I get hot, so I need to replenish essential salts and hydrate: that’s why Lucozade helps.
-Do you drink it before or-
-And how much –
-A couple of litres.
-So maybe four litres?
-Four or five litres. yes. Sometimes six.
-That’s quite a lot of sugar.
-Lucozade doesn’t contain sugar it’s a medicine. For athletes.
-I think it contains sugar
-I don’t think it does.
He gives interviewer Ayoade nothing but a hard time (until he later tries to seduce him and possibly impregnate him (her?)).
There’s a funny bit about Ayoade’s Jewishness. He is not Jewish, he is actually Norwegian and Nigerian, but that doesn’t stop him from admitting:
-I see myself as a man or woman who could or could not be Jewish.”
-This leads to accusation of sexism
-It’s interesting that you keep saying ‘bloody’ in relation to women.
-Do you think that you’re frightened of menstruation?
-Please! I’m trying to eat a bowl of onion! (which may be the funniest thing I’ve read in ages),
The whole book is summed up nicely by Interview Seven:
-How truthful have you been during these interviews?
-I haven’t told you a single thing that’s true and I never will.
There’s even a ruddy exciting chase scene!
The middle of the book has sections written by Ayoade about Writing and about Acting. Most of these are simply scathing looks at his own lack of skill in these particular fields. Like how he sometimes rewrites his script a second time!
There’s an example of his writing in Hot Sauce II: Afterburn (and a hilarious synopsis of Hot Sauce 1: The First. The acting section looks at his work as Chubby Alien on the show Boom Goes the Neighborhood.
The end of the book includes a lengthy appendix which has some very funny stuff, like his quizzes, his Terrence Malick parody and excerpted letters from actors, directors and agents.
I imagine if you were a fan of these books (it particularly parodies Faber’s Directors on Directors series, in which critically celebrated film makers discuss their work) I imagine that the details are especially funny. I don’t know those books, so I just went on my appreciation for Ayoade. And as such his book is pretty funny. You actually don’t need to know a single thing about him to appreciate the book since none of it is actually relevant to him. Rather, if you like dark British humor and you enjoy taking the piss out of Inside the Actor’s Studio type productions, this book is a winner.