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Here’s curious one. A while back I got a few editions of famed 1950s/60s British SF magazine New World. Edited by John Carnell and then Michael Moorcock it was at the forefront of ‘new wave’ Science Fiction and it’s a great read and a fascinating artefact. Anyhow, I’ve been reading through them as and when I can and got to this edition here from December 1965. Lot’s of good stuff in it from a variety of authors. Though all that said it’s telling how male-dominated even the ‘new wave’ was.
And what was in it but this…
…from the Family Planning Association. I can’t say 100% it was placed there intentionally by NW, but I suspect it probably was, and that perhaps says something about their readership as well. Either way, a different world – wasn’t it?
Here’s an album I’ve meant to post up a piece on for years, not least because it’s one of my very favourites. Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly of the Pixies and Throwing Muses respectively along with Josephine Wiggs of The Perfect Disaster and Britt Walford of Slint (with Steve Albini on production duties) crafted something both angular, spikey, confrontational and weirdly joyous in 1990. I love the off-hand nature of the vocals. It’s almost ‘couldn’t care less’ and yet that’s not quite it. The guitars might sound throwaway, almost slapdash, the compositions almost as if they’re patchworks of songs, with curious gaps and dislocations. But those aren’t failings. There’s a slow burning intensity to much of this album, these sometimes seemingly random elements combining to produce unforgettable pieces of music.
Now it also has a Pixies lilt to it. Doe or Oh! are perfect example, with loud, quiet, odd humming/spoken vocals set against clattery drums, and it’s brilliant. It is a bit like listening into one side of a conversation. But there’s a lot of Donnelly in there too, even if I’ve read subsequently that she would have liked more of her songs included and this pushed her towards establishing the pretty great Belly.
It’s surprisingly sparse, with the music filled out by thin percussion, skeletal guitars and bass and oddly hazy vocals (the lyrics are well worth reading if you can get hold of them – and by the by kudos for the name of the group). Impressionistic, but not disposable. “Hellbound” is an oddity, sounding initially almost too metallic or punky, as if L7 had wandered through the studio. But it works. And the guitars do ramp up again here and there, throughout the albuem. “When I Was A Painter” is a case in hand, which gets… heavy… around 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Appropriately so. “Lime House” is a song that I’ve had in my head for years now, that opening guitar line manifesting itself at oddest moments. And I could say that for almost all the tracks, they burrow into one’s consciousness and stay there.
One thing about the time it was bought was just how little information there was. No internet, no wiki, no discogs and add to that the traditionally wonderfully ungiving and uninformative 4AD record sleeves.
At the time I’d heard next to nothing from Throwing Muses, so I assumed Deal did all the vocals. When I later heard Belly it was a revelation to realise just how much of an input Donnelly had had in the material, that great rasp of her voice being a signature element.
This is another group I never listened to anything else they did (bar the excellent single Cannonball from three years later) in part for fear it would be lesser and overshadow this, in part because Donnelly and Walker had moved on and whatever else while still the Breeders it wasn’t that particular Breeders. All of which is pushing me towards giving those later albums a listen! But regardless, this, this is an absolute classic.
When I was a painter
The Horrors return with a new song March 8, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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Check this out, fresh from the Horrors, “I See You” which manages in a succinct 7 or so minutes to touch upon numerous references from Moroder, early Futurist/New Romantic (EamonnCork detects A Flock of Seagulls in there, he ain’t wrong), an hint of mid to late period Simple Minds, more than a smidgen of Echo and the Bunnymen and is that the customarily morose vocals turning almost exuberant? Could be.
A view on marriage equality… March 4, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics.
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Curious report in the Phoenix this week which argues that perhaps John Waters has been misinterpreted in his views on same-sex marriage.
Quoting a response he gave ‘early in January asking him for his opinions on gay marriage… Waters responded with a letter offering opinions that would surprise those who regard him as a Catholic zealot in the Archbishop McQuaid mould. He told… that he had little problem with gay marriage as such but that he did have issues around adoption and the rights of fathers, regardless of gay marriage. He even attacked the Catholic Church for its stance on fathers and children and also argued that the institution of marriage would not be undermined by gay marriage’.
Interesting, particularly when one considers some other straws in the wind in relation to his opinions.
For example, take this highlighted on Broadsheet from an interview where he states:
So I just said okay, em, gay marriage, what do you want to know? So ‘why are you opposed to gay marriage?’ I said, well, in a certain sense I said, you know, it’s not even gay marriage that I’m opposed to: it’s the idea of gay adoption.
And what of the following?
I predict will be the whole, this is really a kind of a satire on marriage, that is being conducted by the gay lobby. It is not that they want to get married it is that they want to destroy the institution of marriage because they are envious of it and they see it as a, really, as an affront to their equality.
And what of this?
Waters: “Well you know if two brothers applied to adopt a child, they’d be laughed out of court but the fact that they’re buggering each other would make a difference, would it?”
And let’s not ignore the quote discussed in this piece on here back in 2008 (well, obviously doctorfive remembered and kudos to you). http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/meanwhile-john-waters-reinventing-the-wheel-of-life-yeah-right/ where our indomitable interlocutor wrote:
Drunk with liberal hubris, have we reinvented the wheel of life, deciding that two lesbians playing House can trump the claims of the forces that create human life?
Remember that line from Broadsheet… ‘I said, well, in a certain sense I said, you know, it’s not even gay marriage that I’m opposed to’.
In a certain sense.
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Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew … though for different reasons at different times. March 3, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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I can take or leave Freakonomics, the book was interesting but had some gaping holes in some of the theses, and there’s something a bit peppy about the podcast. That said, interesting sequence of shows on said podcast on the issue of marriage in the US and its changing nature, and one that in large part doesn’t examine the issue of marriage equality but instead considers how and why it tends to be a somewhat declining institution. Some fascinating aspects to it, firstly that marriage is most robust in the middle classes and those with further education. But also something that is worth considering in relation to more proximate debates. Discussing the changes in it across the 20th century the podcast notes:
[University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers explained how]
marriage today is fundamentally different to how it was fifty or sixty years ago. It moved from a factory model with the husband as CEO and the wife as home maker and with what economists call production complimentarities to something else.
“We’ve moved to what economists call consumption complimentarities – we have more time, more money and so you want to spend it with someone that you’ll enjoy so someone with similar interests and passions. We call this the model of hedonic marriage but really it’s a lot more familiar than that. It’s just economists giving a jargon name to love. So you want someone who is remarkably similar to you or has similar passions to the one’s you do…so it fundamentally changes who marries who.”
STrip away that jargon and I think that’s a useful insight into something that is presented as unchanging. Marriage is, of course, anything but unchanging. The degree of autonomy and agency of the individuals concerned has shifted across class, race, place and so on many times. And so it will continue.
Rockin’ Road Festival 2014 March 2, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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The poster is early this year and good for them. A great day out and the more publicity the better.
Music: Desire and lust March 1, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
I’ve never quite seen the nature of being into music put in such a brilliantly concise way as in a comment on Slate.com which for all my efforts I can’t seem to find again. I think it sums up the phase shift in the way music is listened to, and – though I don’t much like the word, consumed.
Part of it was that desire and lust, that sense of finding new group and new albums, quite literally new music.
I think that’s it precisely, that wandering around Freebird or Comet or Mac’s looking for second hand records, and later CDs, and hoping they’ll be good. And listening to stuff, listening to it intensively, again and again and again – sometimes to persuade yourself it was worth buying sometimes to try to get to grips with it, trying to catch the name of a group on the radio, or hoping you’ll hear it again so you know what it is. And going to friends houses and listening to their collections and thinking, yeah, that’s great. There was a collecting aspect to it, but a lot more than that.
Meanwhile this book here, which is perfect for those of us just that little bit too young for punk is great – entitled ‘A Scene In Between: Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music
Let’s just say most of it looks very familiar.
Atlas Shrugged III March 1, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Libertarianism, Objectivism.
…and yes, it would appear that there’s been yet another change in personnel so that the lead and as far as one can make out most of the others whose roles are confirmed appear to be played by a third set of actors (given that they changed from Part I to Part II.
I managed to acquire Part I very inexpensively second-hand in recent weeks. I may report back on it.
Pop and class… March 1, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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…interesting piece here on the class composition of those making contemporary music. Thanks to Garibaldy for noticing it.