Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Halloween Trick orTreat: Neil Gaiman Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”

Best played after dark, by the light of a single candle.

Preferably during a thunderstorm.

Pete Shelley, 17 April 1955 — 6 December 2018

Pete Shelley in His Prime

David Bowie and Lou Reed are dead.

And now we’ve lost Pete Shelley, leader of the Buzzcocks, who died in Tallinn last week of a probable heart attack.


The Buzzcocks’ first single for United Artists Records was “Orgasm Addict”, which was promptly banned by the BBC. Can’t imagine why.

Then there was the Buzzcocks’ biggest commercial success, of which New Music Express wrote that “Shelley’s bisexuality would form the subject matter of arguably punk’s greatest song, 1978’s ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have)’.

And more “singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy “, like this…

…and this…

…and this.

Look. If you don’t own it already, get a copy of the Buzzcocks’ “Singles Going Steady”. The Buzzcocks were a singles band,  and “Singles Going Steady” is a superb collection of their best songs.

Play it loud.


I missed the Buzzcocks the first time around, which gave my brother David permanent bragging rights, because he saw them perform live before I did. It wasn’t until their 1989 reunion tour that I went to my first Buzzcocks concert, at the old 930 Club in Washington. They’d been inactive for a while, and I didn’t know what to expect.

It was one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. They played everything, and they played it faster and ten times as loud as I played it at home. It was a truly transcendent night.


In an interval between one of the Buzzcocks’s many breakups and reformations, Shelley released his first solo single, the song “Homosapien”. It was banned by the BBC (plus ça change…) which didn’t stop an extended version of the song from becoming a major dance hit in the US. For a while, it seemed to be playing everywhere.


In The Guardian‘s obituary for Shelley, Neil Gaiman is quoted as writing: “Part of my youth dies with him.”

It’s a sad sentiment I share.

American Gods — First Trailer

Here’s the first trailer for American Gods, the STARZ series that will be based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name.

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit I’ve never read American Gods.  It was a bestseller, and won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel.

Gaiman, author of novels, comic books uh, graphic novels, short fiction, and films, is a major presence on the Web and in contemporary pop culture.  Several of his books have been adapted for film, notably including the stop-motion version of Coraline and the charming, criminally underappreciated Stardust.  Ron Howard is set to direct The Graveyard Book, which won the 2009 Newbery Medal for Gaiman.

American Gods will premiere in 2017.

“This” at the Round House Theatre Bethesda

Went to Bethesda last night to see This at the Round House Theatre.

To get the obvious out of the way: Melissa James Gibson chooses lousy titles for her plays. In addition to This, she’s written plays called Current Nobody, God’s Paws , and [sic].

But while her titles are less than intriguing, her plays beautifully constructed. This, which was an Off-Broadway hit, is about four long-time, 40ish friends who find their lives are…lacking. There’s no tidy ending.

As usual, the cast and crew at Round House have done a superb job in bringing the play to life. First rate performances all around.

“Neverwhere” at the Rorschach Theatre

Neverwhere

Neverwhere

Neverwhere started as a television play written by Neil Gaiman. Because he was dissatisfied with the production, he wrote the novel version. And now the novel has been turned into a theatrical presentation, beautifully brought to life by the Rorschach Theatre Company.

It’s the story of a quest by some of the people–both “real” and fantastical–who occupy Under London.

“Fantastical” also applies to the costumes and staging at Rorschach.  You can see a small sampling of the costumes in the pictures below.  The staging was as dazzling
as the costumes:  It was in the round, in a large black-box theatre.  The action took place not just in front of you, but behind you, above you, and next to you.  Parts of the theatre doubled as bridges, offices, towers, and vaults.  There were times when the cast literally climbed the walls.

Last year, I spent three hours exploring the ~100 rooms in the acclaimed New York theatrical presentation of Sleep No More.  In a way, Neverwhere was similar.  But it was much more fun.

Neverwhere -- From Rorschach Theatre

Neverwhere Cast — Photo from Rorschach Theatre

Neverwhere -- From Rorschach Theatre 1

More of the Neverwhere Cast — Photo from Rorschach Theatre