Thursday, 29 April 2004

on reflection, the gastropub formulation below leaves many, er, leaves much to be desired.

but hey.
and also Paul at The Mile Long Shadow of a Cooling Tower is clearly thinking far more than myself about Jimmy Ruffin.

However, I'm always disappointed when Ruffin begins to belt out the final chorus and the track fades out. I suppose its a true example of when art is comprimised for the sake of commerce
is a good point and one i'd truly never considered. well, not beyond the usual of, oh that's it, why does it have to do that, gah, one or two drunken conversations etc.

but there again, art = commerce, blah blah, i don't suppose it's that bad, the way they've done it like this, always makes me cherish the rest of that much more, it's like a hermetic golden egg, quite a wonderful thing really. appreciating what you've got is easy when it's the rest of 'what becomes of the broken hearted'.

but yes, someone really should investigage at what point fade-outs possibly started becoming an arrangement choice, and not a commercial tool.

meanwhile Paul really should post to his blog that compilation listing his art school teacher did him, i rate.
not that there's anything wrong with poncy or cool or trendy or uncool or lame (of which i think i fit into best out of these categories) but there again, a place like that tapas bar on Shoreditch High Street over the road from the church, Kick that's it.

well, yes.
i appreciate the Freaky Trigger team found something to commend in Michael Hann's Guardian piece on the suffocating popularity of gastropubs in the London area (also a priceless comments box; Mark Sinker gets his news from reading the expressions on people's faces in the street apparently). i realise it doesn't read explicitly 'in discussion of London' (well it might do but i get drowsy reading any Guardian articles bar the main news these days and the visual arts coverage, oh and the obits.) but it basically clearly is innit.

but this is a neat example of the overheated (sounds like i'm using that word critically, but i'm not, it's all fine and dandy, but we'll go with this descriptive for now) metropolis (not that that's anyone's fault) because even up in Manchester - probably one of the 'cooler' provincial towns (i hesitate to say anything further lest be accused of bias as a manc myself) - in town i can only think of a handful of decent gastropubs (as i understand the term).

so basically conclusions for London readers are thus: don't worry, dinnae fret, he's just being a Guardian snark and filing copy, there's bound to be some gems about somewhere still, it's all okay.

sure there are plenty of pubs serving good grub but not in that overly poncy Farringdon Road Guardian way. in this manner, possibly the only manc boozers that would suffice for a Clerkenwell resident would be the likes of the celebrated Ox [which is far less pretentious and better than the frankly fucking arsey lookin website makes out], the Chophouses and newer faces such as the revamped Bridge.
sure there's plenty of good boozers to get good food like, oh i dunno, the refurbed (a gaggle of geese? a gaggle of refurb ppl? taupe curtains? tapioca bowls? who can say) Nag's Head but these are just boozers that happen to serve food.

gastropubs are gastropubs.

sure this is a very unfortunate and lame rather laddish and totally unsatisfactory formulation but ESSENTIALLY the PONCIER the place you're in, the more likely it is to be a GASTROPUB, not a pub that serves good food it seems to me.
so, PONCY = that's OK, but more likely to be GASTRO
not SO poncy = that's OK, probably decent fare (perhaps "stolid", or the curse of 'Modern British' or fusion or 'Mod European' or other nonsense, maybe IMAGINATIVE), but couple of moody geezers in corner reserve the right to heucch their throat-wares there,
seems to be about IT.

and anyway as the old line runs, what did city centre drinkers do for sit-down scran before Wetherspoons??
the BBC is reporting that the Darfur violence is now internationalised
always a pleasure, never a chore

that's Mark Steyn's mailbox

always remember to check this.
from the current edition, there's the blood-curdling realisation that the milk of human kindness has, indeed, gone off (stale, y'see).

+ a Minneapolis reader enquires "It seems to me that the Arab Iraqis are unwilling to fight for the kind of freedom we want for them. If the Iraqis have misunderstood our intentions, it is their fault. There is precious little real assistance from them. Am I wrong in thinking that they don't deserve the huge sacrifices made by foreigners for them?".
- Mark replies with No. In Afghanistan, the Tajiks hate the Uzbeks and the Uzbeks hate the Pushtuns and everyone hates everyone else, but nonetheless they all still joined in to help rid the country of the Taliban. In Iraq, with the noble exception of the Kurds, none of the population played any part in liberating their country. The cultural passivity of the Arabs is a huge problem.

= never mind the paragraph as a whole, we just need to focus on the first word. "No". yes, that's right, it's all about desert.
in the midst of the horrific violence in southern Thailand, there's a declaration that Patani people are not responsible for anything happens to you after this warning from PULO.

BANG BANG was a pre-emptive riposte from the security services.

one thing that is spine-chilling is that the Thai government have not yet launched a serious investigation into all the deaths caused in last year's war on drugs [eye for an eye, as HRW reported at the time].
at yon taqueria

big plate o' tamales, doused in ranchero and fiery green sauce, mo' rice, the greens.


Monday, 26 April 2004

big up USA and big up RSA
essential reading

The Devil's Highway [and Denver Post review], by Luis Alberto Urrea, who rode shotgun with the US Border Patrol for his book (incidentally, i rode FUCKING M-16 machinegun with the Elkhart County Police the other day).

a book about Mexican migrants crossing the Arizona desert (a tale of 'the Yuma 14' who died in 2001) that will tell you how hundreds of migrants die trying to cross from Mexico to the USA every year, most of them during the May to July harvest time ("death season") when crops are a-fixin' to be picxked, and when temperatures start to soar, dangerously soar.
'he traces the men back to small villages in the southern state of Veracruz and finds "no terrorists, ex-cons, or drug mules. Mostly small-plot farmers, coffee growers, a schoolboy and his dad."'

as one review put it
That a shaggy, left-leaning Mexican-American was able to find common ground with the crew-cut cowboys of la migra, who have a nasty habit of calling the migrants "tonks" - "a name based on the stark sound of a flashlight breaking over a human head" - is less surprising after reading his portrait of the Mexico-Arizona border, a complex, contradictory world where the same officials who hunt illegals as criminals are also responsible for saving their lives.

gripping and sane.

i'd really like the 'heavy cairo traffic' album (AMG link here) and [i know posting links to popular blogs is pretty much redundant thing to do but it's a way of (semi, hah!)-publicly bigging someone up so without further ado]

k-punk on Rephlex grime (i love an onsong k-punk, the way that phrasing is chosen, the internal rhythms that run through there, like following small red hyperbaric lines on a medical X-ray screen, elegant silver spools of continuity and eloquence, the chosen vocabulary, yes reading k-punk is very much a genuine pleasure for all the best and most honourable reasons, which is usually more than can be said for the pop and rock coverage at the guardian_________________________-> that was a subtle 'eh_eww' rupture wasn't it NOT)

silverdollarcircle on blogs &c {also a lovely and agreeable point about Toots and the Maytals}

big up WOEBOT in generalfor his freshly ennobled Wire-writers head and those C90 Roots/Brick Door mixes of his, rinsing them absolutely HAMMERING them, fucking magic like warm sausage rolls from Greggs the bakery people. and for his linking which has been on-point of late, and his general carefully nuanced approach to some artistes that the hip ain't supposed to like.
don't worry i ain't going too american, a tv show is still really a programme on the telly etc.
John Sell Cotman

i really like the tv show 'punk'd'.

it is hosted by Ashton Kutcher, shagpiece to well known dancer Demi Moore.
Ashton is in that sitcom that seventies show. i always think he looks kinda lame in that and i know most people.most of the time are not big on beards or even much stubble (and probably rightly so most of the time apart from on, like, mad Scottish painters and Kazakh goatherds and like), but i must say he looks cute and cool and a lot better with a bit of stubble. also he always wears different baseball caps, which i am not into wearing personally but he looks good in 'em, i mean really good. i WUV his to-camera pieces, they're generally funny and a bit zany and wacky and all the other words you use to cynically criticise people who take part in RAG week at British universities.

anyway the show is generally a kind of pisstake candid camera thing for celebrities, yesterday that they got Ashanti, some guy from B2K, Jessican Simpson's husband who was in NSYNC, Lara Flynn Boyle, and some other folks.
it is possibly a bit childish or whatever, but i think it's GRATE.

punk'd guide

i also like the MTV show PIMP MY RIDE hosted by RAPPER XZIBIT.
Jimmy Ruffin's 'what becomes of the broken hearted'?
and of course the heartiest congratulations to Chester, was in the back on that one. Hereford also a lovely place for an away.

today's best google search
warmest congratulations to all at West Brom.
Diplomats attack Blair's Israel policy???
reading about Oh My Liver's excellent verbal maneuvring round some thorny Catalonian linguistics in a East boozah reminded me of my mate Miguel Dominguez's now infamous pissing of his life away 'w th Tim Roth charges d'affaire incident in a mcr bar one hot summer. five of us were going for an all-nighter, and had started with a suitably raucous pub/bar crawl. at one fairly rocky/Hells Angels type place alehouse, and due to unfortunate placings of such words as 'Spanish' and 'Castilian' &c and a premature ALL IN SPANISH convo with some moody geezers that the young Bournemouth milksop had started, we all *nearly* GOT OUR EFFING HEADS KICKED IN by a supremely ANGRY group of about 20 middle-aged Basque geezers improbably out on the piss looking for a ruck (situation just about saved in the end due to mine and one other's life-saving LET'S TAKE THE MICKEY OUT OF THE FRENCH RUGBY TEAM AND SEE IF THAT WORKS last-gasp plan), also that and that two of 'em seemed to think i was Tim Roth and were looking for my views on Uma Thurman.
elsewhere, i was pleased that crowds in my hometown gave M. Le Pen a suitably warm welcome (some good photos on another page there too, i bet the hotel was the Cresta Court, that's about the most decent hotel in the centre of Alty although there are posher ones in outyling neighbourhoods)
some great photos at Chicago Mile by Mile {via the lovely companion via, er, dunno wot...}
WEDNESDAY 28TH APRIL at "Over the Top", 78 Kingfield Road,
Nether Edge, Sheffield (Bus: No.22 to Union Road)
8:00pm, £5/3

Other Music Presents:

Gail Brand (trombone)
Morgan Guberman (voice)

Earthy improv from top Anglo-American duo.


Mick Beck (tenor saxophone, bassoon)
Martin Archer (violectronics, sopranino saxophone)
UTT/Foster (turntables, electronics)

Blistering trio given over to the exploration of some of the noisier
regions of electro-acoustic free improvisation.


GAIL BRAND has been playing the trombone for 20 years and in
that time has played in all genres of music ranging from classical
music to jazz and pop music, live and in the studio. She has been
playing on the London improvising scene since 1994.

MORGAN GUBERMAN is a composer/performer/improviser of both
instrumental and electronic solo and chamber music whose music
has received worldwide radio play. His primary instruments are
the contrabass, voice, piano, electronics, and various percussive
devices, including found objects. He has carried out various
collaborations with not only other musicians but also filmmakers
and performance artists.

Their latest collaboration, "Ballgames and Crazy" (Emanem 4103),
is an absorbing blend of solo trombone and glossolalia-esque

Friday, 23 April 2004

and finally...

for a little comic relief, whilst the UNHRC pathetically disappoints [statement here], check here for a fairly reasonable assessment of just what wrong with Manchester City Football Club's season.
indeed, my only real criticism of that article is it's too gentle on Tarnat; given time to concentrate, Dunne is half-decent. Tarnat seems to be living on memories of that free-kick at Blackburn.

oh, and David Stubbs' thing on breakfast TV is one of the best things for ages.
also the way he phrases For fuck’s sake, Root, as a sentient human being with basic motor skills... and an absolutely brilliant dissection of the problem with BBC2. he's right about Channel 4 too.
and the BBC says a live-wire/dynamite??
and that fire in Bangkok ooh.
and did you see THIS

(stoke-on-trent: i used to live there, only a small town, but nice, sorry obligatory solipsistic aside).

Richard Desmond's words: judge fr yrself.

heartbreaking words from Sun Chengying

Thursday, 22 April 2004

oh, do shut up, George~
(it appears that, and as is being reported) cutting 'phone lines at this time = despicable

interesting and w' some agreeable points (but ultimately flawed)
oh ok North Korean train blast makes any blogging go away.
I'm so sincerr has a great piece on anti-gay protests in central Ohio.

and don't be calling me on hating on Christianity, cause that's not what that's about, cause that's not a very compassionate vision of the Lord, fo' so'.

i was once chatting (i'm polite, and couldn't get away) to a bloke in the bar at Worksop football club (Chris Waddle played there for a bit, you know...) and it was a source of pride to this genuinely very pleasant face-to-face chap that the National Front (or at least he claimed) had a presence in the area, and were aiming to carry on their sterling work (fortunately we didn't get that far) in the region.
the look of polite dismay on his face when informed that, yes, there were relatively speaking a lot of ethnic minority residents 'round yr way', was priceless in its own manner.
for levity

this, if you're interested, is my new fave blog (assoc. Q&A here).
the archives are a joy.

of course, via the ineffable bat cave o' permanent delights that is the Freaky Trigger Pumpkin Publog, a blog calling itself Oh my liver looks raey promising.
back to that IMC report (clinking on link takes you to a PDF file), if only briefly, to note The relationship between RIRA [Real Irish Republican Army] and CIRA [Continuity Irish Republican Army] at present seems to be one of co-operation....The UDA [Ulster Defence Association] now associated with the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG).....Both the UVF [Ulster Volunteer Force] and RHC [Red Hand Commando] are represented politically by the Progressive Unionist Party, which is close to both groups

one of the bottom line 'things to remember' about violence in Northern Ireland is that, per head, the rest of the UK (i.e., England, Scotland, Wales) would very reasonably see an outcry if serious violence was running at the same sorts of levels against the community in these areas as it did in N.I. (as the report concludes).
could be essential:
martin hannet biography project pages

{via No Rock&Roll Fun}

YAY for the New FADS !
actually, Dean Saunders was okay of course.
however, that's not to forget the guardian quotes about Cyrille/back of the bus for the darkies/etc., all that.


the redoubtable Auspicious Fish (agreeable Totti affiliations present and correct) offers its opinions on the Atkinson debacle, and rather winningly too, esp. the points about Norris McWhirter and his gran.

Dalian Atkinson was okay though, in parts, i mean he wasn't, like, always crap or owt.
not that i was able to get down but purely because one's thinking on the topic because one is soon to post here risibly late but ah well a list of favourites from the '03 (i know! i know!) that was one of the best UK exhibitions last year.

how do i know, when i didn't go?

just trust me.
The United States is set to rehire thousands of members of fallen Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath party and former Iraqi military to help rebuild Iraq, The Washington Post said citing US officials
_read more here~

what Maj. Gen. John Batiste and Brig. Gen. Carter Ham are saying is, of course, what Richard Norton-Taylor knows British officials have been saying for some time [oh, and that from Sir Mike Jackson, was, er, interesting...]
speaking of newspapers, yesterday's NYT had a piece on the DRC, that started on the frontpage. it was a moving attempt to show American readers some of the problems facing the nation, talking about issues such as the lack of recent electoral experience for much of the population, the possible need for a reconciliation commission and issues that might beset that, and fighting the fragile peace.
the general tone did seem a bit half-arsed 'heart of darkness' in places (all five daily London broadsheets are preferable, imo, to any American broadsheet; to be frank).

meanwhile the Chicago Sun-Times saw a fine column from (of all people! it was a syndicated piece of course) Nat Hentoff about the problems in Darfur. you can read it here.


i don't wish to sound all Robin C.-like (no offence Robin!) and predictive of political/media events but i started believing that would happen about four months ago. needless to say, i'm not happy to be proved right.
sidenote: the "historic decision" editorialising is interesting. long-term Express readers may remember their pretty much fire and brimstone editorial on the eve of the 1997 General Election, it was a very moving and passionate editorial about their conservative with a small 'c' beliefs but so basically why they would be supporting the Tories at that time, and even if you disagreed with it, it was kinda poignant. the completely unacceptable language about jackbooted Brussels neo-fascists from the leader and the general fairly uneven tones about this that and the other from Patrick O'Flynn are, of course, entirely predictable.
Read the paragraphs which link the Ulster Volunteer Force to a spate of racial attacks in Belfast
paramilitary violence against asylum seekers in Northern Ireland is not as widely known about as it should be.

i think that, possibly, here, although of course sensible the guardian is being not quite condemning enough on the sort of mentality that produces a wriggling Gerry 'whu boss, me??' Adams and Bairbre de Brun's absurd posturing, and yes of course purely to note (although it should be obvious but you never know with how people read some things) the report [website here] noted the sheer naughtiness of the, f'r instance, UDA.
Auntie's Brian Rowan has a pretty good analyis here/////

Big Ron's Misimpression

fucking lazy thick n*****

protestations are fine and dandy, but perhaps "It was a great time. I think there's more racial prejudice now than there was then, though we used to make them sit on the back of the bus going to away games. We all used to laugh and joke about it. Cyrille [Regis] would say, 'If you don't stop giving me stick I'm going to buy a house next door to you'," is a tad suspect.
HRW to the UN, Sudanese govt: 'now you're just pissing about, get on with it'
clearly i'm one of those:
you know
mistaking - as men of a certain stamp often do - a town's football team for the town itself/

tsk tsk.
warmest congratulations to Norwich.

Tuesday, 20 April 2004

I have, without any question whatsoever, just
seen the fittest girl of my life. Szymanowski was
playing in my head. She’s a goddess.

you know, he sent that at midnite, when he was bound to be pissed, and he still manages to spell Szymanowski right. that's class!

and to paraphrase the Cat in Red Dwarf when he was still quite feline and therefore that was really the glory days - wll i mean let';s not BEAT AROUND THE BUSH - really, i ask you, well to pharaphase him, let's just say EH THINGS ARE LOOKING UP ALREADY, something to do w' Rimmer i can't remember what though.
the guardian on latest developments with Sem Terra

i remember learning loads all about landless peasants' associations in Brazil, during a-level sociology (way back in the mid-to-late 1990s cos i'm old).

that's a real a-level sociology thing to do innit.

elsewhere i was pleased to see that the stout-hearted 86400 seconds is pronouncing that belle du jour blog thing "bollocks", i've read it and it just doesn't anything for me. not just me then.

meanwhile, Agent FareEvader's elegy (is it an elegy?) for his lost job with the Melbourne tram system is essential blogging, and, what's more, Jim is on form as per;/
my man B. - a son of Manila but long-time San Franciscan transplant [via some few years in Austin] - was in town over the weekend. he introduced us to his lovely Greek-Cypriot, Long Island-bound friend who had spent a summer researching at the University of East London and had good things to say about the Davis manor, no less.

anyway, for luncheon yesterday, one went to the Star of Siam where for the equivalent of about three quid, there was a stupendously nice pad ped, and mounds of some esoteric (well, to me anyway) rice.

all in all, result!
the Iberian flavour to this year's last four in both European competitions is so lovely, really. and i'm going to my first ever baseball game on Friday, if the rain holds off, the Cubs are entertaining the Mets. which should be good.
their fans have a cute chant where the chorus is let's go cubbies but dead loud and hopefully with something Chicagoan like pizza or hot dogs or beer or Crackerjack.
and no one can be surprised with Monaco doing Chelsea, it's been said before and it'll be said again, but look at what Monaco did to Depor in the group stages, like i said, some wise heads i knew myself seemed too eager to dismiss that in too quick and unseemly a time scale.

on the other hand, i was glad Villarreal beat Celtic, who after all, when you get down to it, likes the Old Firm (outside of their own support)? it'd be like me, a Man City fan, thinking positive thoughts about United or Liverpool.
i know it's tardy of me to link to, but anyhoo worth a link, to paraphrase Luke, is The Rambler's Forty Years of Modern Composition and what it means to me. astonishing, astonishing work in progress. really. especially as i really enjoyed the Penderecki piece the other week and then yesterday was bowled over with his Ligeti piece.
i am really looking forward to some of the - by my standards, being a neophyte - more obscure stuff he'll touch on, such as 1981's entry.
taken from cnwb:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions
5. Give the title of the book too!

"It's no wonder that the Zoo is the second-biggest drawcard in the city, after Navy Pier."

Chicago Condensed, Lonely Planet Publications, Melbourne, 2001.
inquest into young inmate hanging himself is told about prior warnings to staff~

and, extraordinarily, two American soldiers are claiming asylum in Canada
Big God howled like a hot wind, and demanded obeisance. Then Small God (cosy and contained, private and limited) came away cauterized, laughing numbly at his own temerity. Inured by the confirmation of his own inconsequence, he became resilient and truly indifferent. Nothing mattered much....So Small God laughed a hollow laugh, and skipped away cheerfully. Like a rich boy in shorts. He whistled, kicked stones. The source of his brittle elation was the relative smallness of his misfortune. He climbed into people's eyes and became an exasperating expression.

__'The God of Small Things'.

Thursday, 15 April 2004


harry & Franklin OTM.
again, apologies for the spelling. i just had a fight with the cat about the tuna mayo sarnies i am making that are FOR ME TO EAT NOT YOU CAT and so consequently it made my spelling off-beam.
i foresee no such difficulty when i eat this tangerine, as it only hearts the meat, as far as i can tell.
just for the record i actually really like Thomas Pynchon and indeed had never heard of Raymond Roussel until Angus mentioned him just now but Angus is like a PhD literary type innit so i expect snarly prounouncements form such pes as to keep me informed and entertained (i was goona write fr humourous puproses if oyu wanna go ahead and slag off David Foster Wallace on the other hand, be my guest but that would be wrong)
oh bugger it just go see Earl instead of why don't you, yeah.

COCAINE SENSI cheers Matt!
yunno, Stradivarius in the background and all that, living in a hole in the ground etc.

perhaps you think i'm being flip, well i did like 'oranges are not the only fruit' of course like any other middlebrow beach reader, will that do?
obv. Jeanette Winterson is lovely i'm sure and here is her very readable and enjoyable homepage [tho' Pentecostal parents who brought her up in the nearby mill-town of Accrington. As a Northern working class girl she was not encouraged to be clever. from the bio page sounds a bit, well, you know...].
Angus w' what will surely suffice as the last word in the general blogging area as to David Stubbs' abstract art/musiq pronouncements (which others had already commented on, of course).

Angus is notable for taking a very reasonable approach to it all and providing his readers the benefits of a piss-ya-pants laffing line about Thomas Pynchon... ...i bet there's a fellow who could do a few Sacred Cows...

abuse of Winterson is funny too please.
three minutes research and googling determines it seems to be REAL.


especially classy 'Three famous women who have left lesbianism '
1 4 th is it satire? FILES

Defend the Family

if you want a cheap laugh surf over here for plenty of god hates fags files, especially choyce is the token black woman on the left sidebar, NOICE!

they get about these australians don't they, that Jim Robinson (Helen Daniels' lad) he was an advisor to the Prez in the West Wing and now i've just seen him in (blissful, sun-kissed Californian-set whey-faced angsty teen drama) the OC.

i mean fuck me Mrs Beardsley but which one of your gnomes is Peter
sensible point to consider re. gibson's passion of the christ
the solid and reasonable secular liberal defence one can mount of this

the man
If I was homeless and drunk, old and dying of liver disease or just daily exposure to the elements, the endless cruel banalities of life, well I'd probably randomly attack people in the street too - what would there be to lose?

the disciple
Back from the pub. Had a roast dinner (not too bad) and one and a half pints of a quite horrible bitter, and I read the Observer, the Times and the Independent. The best thing was in the Independent about a 'poet' whose importance was signified by his having Damien Hirst as a friend and being the partner of a middle class person called Abigail Lane, who apparently is some sort of artist. The poems were fantastically awful. Jesus, it cheered me up.

er, the other one, GEEZ
Also mentioned is the Asda at Isle Of Dogs which I have only seen from the DLR but my brother says it's his favourite supermarket, "so much under one roof", all Asda'a have an Asda FM though so you can bliss out to sounds of AOR while you glide through the aisles. Asda'a are also built on ancient sites and you will find the sacred Asda stone at the entrance, on which is engraved the immortal credo of value for money.

i know these are all checked regularly but they're great great and i love these blogs and i'd pay to read 'em.
so there!
Reynolds:... also relates to that curious syndrome familar to anyone who's ever deejayed, or in a slightly paler form, ever made a mixtape, whereby just the selection of a track somehow accrues a tiny portion of the credit properly due solely to the person or persons who made the track.

haha OTMOTM!
someone could launch a profitable career in Cult. Studs. with a PhD thesis based on the above_____________

Wednesday, 14 April 2004

oh and big up Simon R's publisher Omer Faruk who has clearly got quite a bit on his plate as a recent read of blissblog would tell you.
blogs on point

i dunno, it really cracked me up when i read that 'The song I’d like to hear played if I was taking part in a riot/street brawl' bit at Die Acid House Die

i guess in the way grime is over london airwaves, crunk is over chicago airwaves, that's cool. that or hispanic rap or latin pop, which is utterly utterly beguiling.

i can't be the only reader of tufluv curious as to why he took down that bit. do you remember that bit he had, going on about where one night he'd had some Kroney-B to drink and the reason his blog was called tufluv was because he was tough in love of late, and all that. i just found that rather affecting and i can appreciate why he took it down given his blog is on hold, but it fair brought weepiness to my dry old eyes. plus him and me must be both the same age almost exactly he said in a month or so he's 25, well i'm that grand old age the beginning of june.

silverdollarcircle's lovely rambley grime assessments for the nu yr.

WOEBOT's long-promised desi piece and as an aside i must just say - this because i'm sooo behind the door, it wasn't until April of t.h.i.s____y.e.a.r. that i finally heard the Hova-enhanced version of 'Mundian Te Bach Ke' (in a club, as a matter of fact, but hey it was about 2:30 so...) and yes it's certainly not a patch on the original is it!
also as i recall observing at this very blog rather a long time ago, in the States it's titled in English, 'beware of the boys', nowt wrong with that of course. but there we are.

two of my best friends are Brummie boys grown up from Handsworth. i love getting that bus round that way and riding it between West Brom and Handsworth and looking at all the graffiti, PUNJAB CREW-type stylings, sorry that's not anything per se to do with desi beats, but there we go.

and another thing, why have all the other English voices i've heard so far in Chicago been Sloaney-types (two women before for instance, literally braying 'blah blah blah's at each other!!) or just generally BBC-English posh SW london or sumfink.

i don't know, call me a reprehensible inverse snob clarse warrior (nah, only joking as u knows) but i was kkinda romantically hoping the first other English accent i'd hear would be some West Derby scally pointing out the Chicago PD and sqeauling 'eh la, bizzies la'

ah well////
Because if you drain land you are intimately concerned with water....water and meditation, they say, go together.

_'Waterland', Graham Swift.
some perspectif gained fru from livin' in the back

- Other Music Presents:

OPAQUE + LOCRIAN (guitars)

Glaswegian noise-merchants will be joined by local hero
Locrian for a unique take on the national anthem.


Sherry Ostapovitch (guitar) + Charlie Collins (reeds)

Inspired guitar melodies mix with electric pops, crackles
and scrapes.

At The Grapes, Trippet Lane, Sheffield
Bus: West St/Rockingham St or City Hall
Tram: West St or City Hall

8:30 p.m. Wednesday 14th April
?5/?3, all tickets on door

- The Economist (replied to by a World Bank researcher about world poverty)

- will someone please tell me which Junior Boys stuff to get, as i've still not heard any amazing i know. shameful~

- the chippies in Barnsley are great, there's loads of great chippies in Barnsley, if yr a chippy person you'll know that, tru that.

- big up in fine style Maff for his wicked Brick Door and C90 Roots mixes, which have popped thru the door this morning. IMMENSE CHOONS on the Brick Door one which is on now! rilly nice, and possibly coming into two of my fave albums this year as Jess (might have) noted (at one stage, IIRC) [tho' Kanye and Madvillainy are predictably my faves of the year thus far i rate, TBH: that reminds me, must get the '03' listing up yes yes: no-one reads here anymore anyway boo-hoo so the tardiness don't matter...]

- Lev Markiz interview

- Health and Humour

- superLATIVE compilation aktion

- Terra to close

- Katharina M in the Red Sea

- Weegee

- Da Weaver's take on the most influential singles of the past 25 years {prompted by a Q piece, no less}

- Simon silverdollarcircle and i agree about the primacy of Sepultura's 'Roots'. indeed he likens it to a religious experience, must say the Xavantes drumming can get pretty intense, every home should have a copy on CD, you can probably get it cheap music zone or amazon or something, go on! even spizzazzz liked some of the singles

- just in general i suppose Matt's very agreeable on Abstract Art seems to benefit from the containment implicit in it's form. It's worth musing that the most outre, least containable forms of Modern Art are invariable repackaged for the gallery: Land Art in the form of Photography (is Land Art not a strain of Photography?) and Performance through the medium of poorly-shot badly-lit video (ha!) although i'd say street AVANT- posh person's whitey AVANT is a very doable parallel.
but Mr Stubbs' Sound is more insidious, circumambient, less easily shut out, permeates deeper into our heads, subliminally, perpetually. Which can be distressing. A painting you can take in, move around, move away from. nah, i know it's all just opinion innit (Stubbs seems to set his hat with the editorialising about the "almost suffocating popularity" of Tate Modern) but to me that's AMM or Faust or LaMonte Young or whoever sure, but also easily - say to pluck a name - an artist like Philip Guston to me, his stuff is easily as endlessly stayingwithyou nagging/disturbing/changing/whateva as some mis-tuned piano forks and a load of banging away (ooh my jokey lightness of touch &c.). of course perhaps that's just David Stubbs' thing as a music writer, as said, but Rothko (which, to strike a counter-Philistine jibe, I suspect he knocked up by the half dozen with a Dulux paint roller once he’d devised the initial concept) seems a tad unfair.
i think that " It is the frisson of high finance and connotations of fabulous wealth, then, which helps draw so many members of the public like moths Tatewards." is absolutely not the case; though do perhaps (if memory serves, which is often no guide____) recall Penman hating on Tate (Modern, of course) crowds some time ago?

- The Pictorial Handbook of Chinese birds looks like an excellent resource

- can't say i'm surprised by Zat Knight allegedly butting Jon Stead. have i mentioned my brother's girlfriend is the cousin of Brian O'Driscoll - true that.

- Brian Lara, indeed!

- the other day to celebrate the somedisco birthday and because i worked in a bakery for a long time once (pretty hard work, oh okay admittedly hardly Congolese diamond mining but pretty tough and the pay was crap) i did a baker's dozen of 13 of my favourite blogs. but it looked kinda arsey without me getting a links bar up, which i am hoping to do soon. suffice to say, skykicking, peking O and Loaf were all in.

- saw lots and lots of squirrels fighting, some goldfinches, wrens, strange robins, fulmar-like birds, and many goldcrest looking like birds on a long walk yesterday through some of the parks of downtown Chicago, big stuff, m'nice.

- John Ashbery on Yves Tanguy

- interesting to read Robin C.'s reflections on Dorchester/Weymouth/Dorset culture wars etc as i spent a very pleasant weekend in Weymouth recently. the landlady had moved there from London and one other old boy i was talking to (also a Londonder originally, Spurs fan no less) and her both outlined a sketch of Weymouth as quite distinct from much of the rest of the county. closed minds seemed to rule it, was the theme of the young landlady, whereas plenty of art students, lads, young scallies, rap fans, and nu-metal kiddies congregating on the street corners of what proved a lively and alehouse-packed town seem to suggest this New Labour corner of Dorset is forver diff'rent. travelling on trains and buses thru the rest of the area was like an England preserved in aspic that u almost think we've lost, purely thru a reparative memory defect, it's easy to forget sense and place in another's space.

astonishing ragged chalky coastline, and burnished sunsets also.
magnificent brooding clouds etc.etc.
simply marvellous.

- an imaginative educational project dropped due to lack of cash

- Bruce Conner interview.
i thought this article about the manc chinatown had some interesting parallels with that guardian story about the ethnicity of the customers of Brick Lane eateries, especially the line near the end about It’s not tourist-oriented and caters mainly for the local Chinese community, meaning that standards are higher here than in London and the value-for-money is greater

i mean i've liked London's Chinatown whenever the few times i've been there i dunno, but that Guardian article about Brick Lane raised some fascinating issues (the somewhat depressing tone that a group from Tower Hamlets wrote Monica Ali an eighteen page letter of complaint?!)

anyway that's a moot point and academic as it is, for it's Brum & the Black County/Bradford to get where subcontinental fare's at (though i do miss the cheapo/fecking brill 'curry caffs' of mcr's northern quarter when away from them)
i think this is my favourite guardian article this year so far for the tinge of hope at the end to be recognised though as well (pedantic point: over 50 restaurants at the last count in Rusholme beats in my abacus the 46 at the latest count curry houses in Brick Lane).

R.I.P. Ben Pimlott.

Tuesday, 13 April 2004

vain, selfish & lazy on 'the dreamers'

very nice article on it (which i still think is wanking for observer readers and best nailed by, frankly and as already mentioned, Pete Baran/some cynical Chicago hack).

Joe posits the very convincing thesis it would probably focus on its place in a miniature genre which also includes Performance, Y Tu Mam? Tambi?n and Withnail & I (the eventual somewhat let's be frank conservative??, refusal of the boys in 'Y Tu Mama...' to engage with the path Luisa would put them on is a fascinating and good ending).

however, the link he posts to viciously marZipaned's take on 'the dreamers' is a bit off-wack or is just me? well ignore what i just wrote in general it's different characterisations of American inde films - suppression, alienation, etc., seems pretty much bang on. BUT there's some strange phrasing here, or is it me?

'the French siblings understand the need for violence and direct action but the American, avoiding Vietnam through his presence in Paris understands the need for pacifism. Read it in the light of Kent State and you can't help but feel the siblings have one up on him'

'Above all this is a European film. I'm not sure an American and particularly someone who had never travelled around Europe would understand it'
seems a bit unfair/

'France has a contained aggression, the reaction is always there and hemmed in just enough- a fascist turns up and all the voters step out to stop him'
er, Vichy, the Front's electoral successes, rising anti-Semitism in France these days &c&c. i'm not sure about this at all.

Marshall Petain was c.95.
here's Simon on 'monoculture versus multiculture: pure fusion' (and all that)

i know i've posted about this before but i remember Paul Meme once stoutly (and rightly) defending Bill Laswell's fusioneering experiments and the like.
Laswell gets a lot of flak from some quarters for perceived Fourth World/Jon Hassell-styled cheesiness. and maybe it's a sort of knee-jerk impulse - in itself - to defend an outfit purely on reactionary snob grounds, but ah why not.

but i've been dying to admit for about a year now that i can't get with the programme with a lot of that global-beat style fusion (although i did for a long time have the names of both Loop Guru and Zap Mama stencilled on my bag in college) and this has been the case for yonks, although i used to be into it well loads several years back.
look at this - it's a well-reviewed AMG piece on Russell Mill's Strange Familiar, 1996's Undark Collective (Laswell, Hassell, K. Shields, R. Guthrie, even the Edge! &c.) critic John Bush points out some high spots, such as Michael Brook's infinite guitar ceases long before the end of his showcase track "Stone's Egg," leaving Mills more than ten minutes to deconstruct a groove that begins with a cavernous bassline and warped percussion but ends up with little more than a few solitary bells that did indeed - at the time - bewitch me and makes you want all sorts of Arvo Part fixes.

but i just can't be bollocksed with it all these days, i guess. i don't know why that is, and it's my loss, but this much is basically the case. it's really dodgy of me to have a lazy throwaway attitude towards Michael Brook/Fateh Ali Khan collaborations for instance, but i do do. and i don't know. it would be quite easy to unpick my attitudes here, but i've not been bothering.
there must be some weird culturally conservative ethnocentric tourist mindset at play in my listening if i only want to hear the purest qawwali, and the Ocora etc. stuff over other things.

anyway, Mexican game shows are the bees knees//

Monday, 12 April 2004

nice guy
Christ yeah the US military forum my God they all
wanted to kill me. What a shower of cunts

in the interests of balance

the lovely companion tells me just reading yr blog, it says lone star steakhouse is shit, but we were at texas
roadhouse. to be fair they're all equally shit, and not just coz i'm veggie.
bollocks, i forgot to shout out Pabst's Blue Ribbon!!! dead loud.

continuing the blog nepotism and to Q again, Nathan Barley
Harm on Mark Steyn & w' a history lesson
Eppy on Nirvana

{admission: i have never, knowingly anyway, heard any Nirvana that was that 70's rock band}
not sure if entirely feeling David Stubbs abstract art thing actually, i mean he's a music journo but at least admits his prejudices so that's something, but even so...

following on from his fine refinement of Polly Toynbee with its brilliant point about "Besides, in effect, muslims have been racialized, castigated as a racial other, in the BNP imaginary" {though still unsure if i agree with but the rhetoric of 'the end of multi-culturalism' plays into their handsor think it's unnecessarily OTT/alarmist - actually probably not is it, though i hardly need to be told to open my eyes - w' all due apologies to Mark and also Mark's It's only by making hard economic arguments - about the need for immigrants, about the vibrancy immigrants produce in a culture - that we'll persuade many of the sceptics is going on, and has been going on for sometime w' i reckon not much positive effects in some p'haps many arenas, etc. so that is why i was sounding pessimistic i guess}, i was just wondering if anyone knew what David Lovibond is saying in the latest Spectator (you can't get it as quickly in the USA as in the UK and blow registration for a game of soldiers). his Multiculturists make colour the measure of all things (headlined: THE REAL RACISTS) is not promising...

some time ago i remember Matt going on about SR's occasional tossing off of the odd lukewarm appraisal which was making himself reconsider his own views on all sorts of flavour of the month bismarks, eg Linda Perhacs re-issues.

but i could never remember that, but i must say in a case of INTERNECINE BLOGGING DISPUTES I JUST MADE UP

Friday's Yeah but back to Kanye and pushing sampling to limits ... it's noticeable how when people get to raving about his tracks, how it often turns into a list of the things he sampled ? "i love that Luther bit, it's so gorgeous"... it just makes me wonder, yunno? is a KLASSIC example, especially in light of alla crew bigging Kanye up.

good stuff.

Simon picked meup on my hating of Kanye a few weeks ago here at the steadily deteriorating somedisco (what can be done to make this blog good> i dunno) and all i can plead is hearing in entirety the album which one took a chance of has absolved my hardline views and i was wrong and a fool, also a good mate of mine who's a somewhat canonical Wu/Mobb Deep/Jeru character was influencing me unduly with his Kanye=producer yes, EMCEE= no, pronouncements.
mind you that;s the braks.
shrinkingcities: International Investigation [via Space and Culture]

from personal experience, think one can vouch that the dereliction of Detroit is essentially especially heartbreaking.

a tale of moving capital, white flight, and political inertia.

terrible really.
sorry for all the spelling mistakes, my lips are chapped and i ate too much candy (sic) so it's affecting my fingers.
i don't actually own any Naxos discs at present but there again i ain't got a mobile phone these days either so there we go.
also, a sincere (and tardy, sorry) thank you to Tim for his lovely bit of FYI directed towards me myself re. the literally divine sounding Herbert Howells.


i too was surprised by A.C. going out, of course, in fact in that last four the only one i'd a put money on being it at in at thet stgaw would be Porto.
in an ILM style and apologise for labouring hte point as i've said it b4 but Naxos is always going to be CLASSIC not DUD if only for the expesnv okay so i sound like a cheapskate but bugger it ah.
i can't really do anything in return for Tim Rambler so thought he might at least be a little amused by two, er, idiosyncratic reports from in the field: below (Altrincham against Hucknall, also Altrincham lost to Alfreton today TOO, ; QPR at Oakwell)
Alty lost 2-3 to Hucknall last night, unlucky really. They took the lead, after we'd had a number of near misses and our on loan 17 year old from Stockport County-Jamie Baguley-hit the bar with an audacious 35 yard chip (as good as Craney this boy is) then we equalised before HT. We'd bossed the 1st, but they were a right bunch of dirty cunts too (as any team managed by two ex-milkmen twats in Wragg and Burr would be), forced two of our lads off with injury in the 1st 45. They came out second much better, took a 3-1 (we scored an og for their 3rd tho) which they didn't really warrant and Craney scored a typically good late flair goal but not to be and looking dicey for our automatic Conf N. chances now. Still, most punters reckon we only need 60points for the top 13, which is only 7points from our last 6games so it's certainly doable still.

Oh, btw tellin you bout Bez's Bigoraphy "Freaky Dancin" which I'm reading at the mo. Good example of it's wit and style here (Bez and Shaun Ryder are just about to meet Hooky for the very first time in the Hac)

"Reality, without warning, suddenly takes a serious side step when through the lights an smoke emerges a figure that bears the distinct likeness of Hooky. It could be a Stars in their eyes moment, it is that surreal!He's stridin over to us, laughin his bollocks of

"What the fuck are you two cunts on?"

"Fuckin hell, what are you on with those fuck-off motorbike boots? retorts X without missin a beat"

A fine example that mate of the books general sort of rogueish scally Salford types and ther drug dealin and criminal tendencies...gonna go now as Gooners-Chelski on ITV in a bit and gotta get a beer. Btw hilariously typical bitter article written by Stuart Brennan in the MUEN yday, describing mockingly the Arse as "The world's greatest football team", especially ironic when thats what the Rags call themselves on their own TV channel. They really are the most ungracious bunch of losers you will ever find, Four Fucking One-twats!


Just got back from Barnsley, we were 2 1 up with 5 minutes to go, 3 2 down in injury time, 3 3 with the last kick of the game. After a loss at Bristol, we were poor, we scraped a draw at Tranmere, they missed a twice taken penalty and thrashed Grimsby. We are going right to the wire but I reckon we shall grab second. City need to stop drawing.

Pleasant week in the Lakes as well where the football museum in Ambleside is a must.

Happy times.
big up Joe P.C. Hiphop and Tim Rambler for their epic ATP wrap-ups.
Matt on trainers

i own two pairs of trainers full stop one is a really old Vans with holes in i can only wear when it's guaranteed sunny, i got 'em for about a tenner off a moody geezer in a Stoke on Trent market stall years back, they're beige and q. nice.

the other is some old Pumas, white and brown.

wjht i wanna know is this does this make a me a direttionalless prole or something?
i was at a hiphop/rnb night in a college town and it was a very mixed crowd, nice and diverse, (i did a dbltake the first time going to the DJ box to request some Crookyln Clan cos the DJ was the spit of P. Diddy) and they were certainly dropping a lot of crunk and the atmosphere was fine, i read down in Atlanta it kicks off a lot if loadsa crunk was dropped but it was all cool round that way.

i don;t know why i'm writing this down, possibly because i just read that new Straight Outta Clapton blog via blissblog and iliked the paean to dirnking for a stwart.
i rate erase Dan is on fire at the mo.

the account of a Parisian photography gallery visit was especially grav.y.
differences between Davis and Reynolds

Luke quites likes the Hova but not loads but he quite likes him, i believe.
as does Simon i believe, but whereas in the past i've noticed Luke's oppositions to him are more like there's a lot of better emcees or he seems to be a bit of a cock of a person, Reynolds (and perhaps increasingly) is going for the spiritual bankruptcy options etc.

i was gripped w' Simon's meditations on the Dangermouse album thing.
i've not heard that, let alone the Jigga with Pavement.

i can see Simon going for the whole guru option if he continues to hammer the spiritual enclosing visions, the narrowing of views, the solipsistic thuggery, i think there's quite a lot of mileage to be made there i guess.
Sittin in on a Friday (rare for me) but last nigth went round to
Andy's gaff n drank a bottle of Red Square Vodka, so rough as houses today so gave the night out a miss

i was out with my mate's little sister once and she downed most of a bottle of voddy actually. she's kinda rock n roll. good lass.
Luke showed me photos of that celebrity bloggers meet up with the likes of Maff and Nick Eletrokin and Simon silverdollar and Mark k-p and the like.

i just wanted to say that (i've only met Maff b4) those pictures are cute, a good bunch of sorts.

anyway, Luka tells me Jim's good for a few scoops, so that's good.

anyway, i wanted to tell Qas MATE IF Y=URE EVE IN THE US AND WANT SOME FOOD don't go to a place called Lone Star steakhouse (well okay the catfish and strange breads were okay butin general) it's fucking shite.
i spent Easter Sunday with a load of Texans.

that was interesting.
the tapwater in Chicago is fucking minging, nearly as bad as in London.
i bet it's shite in New York too, i remember Reynolds going on about filters at Wal-Mart once.

the tap water in Nicosia, New Orleans, and Bruges is good mind.
Dear Qas,

i had some Pabst Blue Ribbon like you said. it was cheap like Old Style (another cheapo Yank lemonade).

it was okay. i had it after some Grey Goose and orange. later on i drank more beer, and whisky. it had a slightly liquorice or aniseed flavour or something. it was in a can. i told my companions it was like cough syrup and no worse than Budweiser (which is true).

i was at a bar called Ogle's in LaPorte, IN, and all the Yanks w' me expressed surprise about my choice. i read some article that hipsters in some of the cities are having a lot of Pabst these days cos of it being an old geezer drink and so not marketed very heavily and so that appeals to them. but i was drinking with a load of 'regular guys' (i don't think farmhands/firemen/loft fitters count as hipsters but better that then a load of Nathan Barley wannabees with immaculately coiffed hair, cosmetic spectacles and a multi-coloured iPod).

yesterday i got some Everclear which was nice, if a bit nutty/not smooth vodka. i was told the particular type i was drinking was illegal in the next state.
the Stella and Red Stripe over here is alright, and Miller/Bud Lites are rank. you may as well drink Kaliber/dishwater.

in a bit,
the margaritas are good.

Wednesday, 7 April 2004

two year old retires from restaurant business to go into day care
It is being argued that the loud music and the playing of pornographic DVDs are among the main attractions to teenagers using buses on the affected routes
apparently even with this recent spate of gangland killings (23 deaths in the last few years is it?) in Melbourne that's been grabbing headlines the overall crime rate in Melbourne is still much lower than for Sydney so that's something.
eminently depressing

i wonder if certain media outlets will make the same link?

TBH, they should.
okay so maybe i was a little hasty in pronouncing hughes my favourite critic in the arts (i would've meant contemporary of course) but really i can't think of too many other people to enjoy that much.

who else is there for a tired old sopworth like myself?

a little JB Steane maybe, i like - of course - and then old geezers it's true like Lucie-Smith or Bloom, or for populist thrust i like that Tim Marlowe is on the telly and from the british press certainly martin gayford of course, adrian searle, oh i dunno. chaps like that collings wth this fluffly sort of floppy hair approach,
this is what loaf is talking about /

i suppose in the face of all that it is hughes and damn him for being a curmudgeon sometimes but when he's on-song it's a sweet lieder, Fischer-Dieskau getting worked over by Timbo, tough and supple and with a tensile strength folded in cold aluminium or sumfink' like that.
The Melting Blog

what a great site!

[found out about it via Pop Life]

the lovely companion is enamoured with this beauteous piece here.

_'_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ it's quite fine, too~
this just in from the DEPT OF BIG WHOOP

In the past 50 years, more than 620,000 refugees and displaced people have been resettled in Australia, according to Australian immigration department statistics.

yeah OK that's with a host population of, what, 27 people (at least nine of whom blog regularly)?
priceless pt.II


to answer the question, actually,


it is that minging all year round.

it's true, regrettably :/

there is kebabs in kettles and then there is other shit (Texas Fucking Roadhouse is like eating in a barn with all the shite over the floor)

i did just eat asparagus and margarine, vey nice it was 2.
something is rotten in the state of Denmark

so whilst Frere-Jones cools his heels and this Julianne Shepherd is posting, yeah all well and good, i like that and i like anyone over that_ __way but not entirely sure on the uptake of Hughes on Freud


posting links to three pictures backs up what Hughes is saying, although at first you might not think so.
i'm sure that's the aim of all S/FJ krew anyway, i'm just sayin'...
ah man

Thomas L. Friedman
You are Thomas L. Friedman! You're the foreign
affairs expert. You're liberal on most issues,
except you're a leading voice in the pro-war
movement. You're probably the most popular
columnist at the Times, but probably because
you play both sides of the Iraq issue and
relish your devotion to what you call
"fanatical moderatism." You sure can
write, but you could work on your sense of

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

[via M. Matos]
goddamn, and all the while Amblongus has been eloquently (and rightly) critiquing the Friedman frontin'
absolutely priceless

Tuesday, 6 April 2004

mt. disappointment on David Stubbs' abstract art vs. abstract music thing (incidentally, nice 'calling out of context' defence there)


i've always liked Varese, but never got down with Stockhausen.

but look at The Rambler go: Herbert Howells, who he? quality. that's well bismarck that is.

and Klangfarben-beats beats idea was wonderful, i think The Rambler should be read in schools in music lessons or something,

i was at this site where people write opinions of food franchise chains and i was browsing the submarine sandwich shop section and one bloke wrote something like 'i'm having a party in my mouth and quiznos are doing the catering'
how would a concrete umbrella work? is reporting that a diet of worms can help cure bowel disease
Jonathon Jones on whether New York could regain its power to delight/

Forty years ago, when American art was infinitely bolder than it is today, artists had no trouble dealing with contemporary events which, if minor next to September 11, were national shocks. Within months of Marilyn Monroe's suicide in 1962 James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol exhibited elegiac portraits; soon after Kennedy's murder in 1963 Robert Rauschenberg made history paintings. Today there is no artist in America with the intellect or arrogance to carry off anything comparable. Instead, art in New York now seems a collective ritual: the content of videos and installations is not that important. Rather, walking around Chelsea, enjoying art, is a practical reassertion of what makes New York New York. The aesthetic weakness of today's American art is turning out to be a social strength.

Sitting in a darkened warehouse in Chelsea, you see unroll upon the walls nocturnal images shot by Bruce Nauman of his studio after hours. Occasionally a mouse scurries at the corner of your visual field; swivel your chair and it is gone. Nauman subtitles the piece Fat Chance John Cage. It is the kind of art that ought, after September 11, to feel irrelevant: this is what American artists were doing on the eve of disaster, filming mice in their studios. In fact, it is deeply, sweetly reassuring; a relaxed, civil way to spend a Saturday morning

what an absolutely superb point!
i admit i was thinking the gooners would beat the blues. but i can't be the only person who's not suprised that monaco beat real. far too many informed watchers of the game i personally know were a little too quick - in my opinion - to write off monaco hammering depor as a fluke, or not of interest when it was the mighty real they were up against.

anyway, none of this surely changes that ac milan will probably (well, you can't be definitive eh...) steamroller their way to the trophy.
Anyone who feels sickened by the behaviour of the mob in Falluja should pay a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr centre in Atlanta and see some of the thousands of photos taken of good ol' boys standing, smiling and, sometimes, picnicking with their wives and families, alongside corpses of black men and women they had lynched.
Jonathan Fanning

from today's guardian letters page here.

yeah, well, OK, and the point you're trying to make is?

i dunno, that just reads like kneejerk anti-Americanism to me. can we not be sickened by the behaviour of mobs in Falluja and be sickened by the historical reality of lynching without necessarily connecting the two phenomena? like how we are sickened by labour camps in China and street violence in Jamaica, for instance, without necessarily connecting the two situations (unless you insist that America as a superpower maintains control by violence blah blah and is therefore historically inured to violent acts as it's the 'only language they understand' which is clearly perhaps what the writer intends but i ain't giving that perspective the time of day, so___).
you might think i'm being unkind here and somewhat hysterically reading things into the writer's remarks that aren't there.
but i don't know.
the mobs in Falluja were reacting to Americans with poisonous action in the case of those four American dead; racist American violence was responsible for lynching. but the half-baked circular semi-logic there is dubious.
otherwise, may as well just write something like
Anyone who feels sickened by the behaviour of the mob in Falluja should pay a visit to a Revolutionary France feature at their nearest museum and see some of the accounts of the horrible Terror that followed the storming of the Bastille bleh blah.


Anyone who feels sickened by the behaviour of the mob in Falluja should look on the internet for information or archived television footage about those Israeli soliders or coppers was it i forget which, who were torn to pieces by a Palestinian mob


y'get me?
no doubt it's a very clever letter, but...
here's a good response to George Carey [via the fascinating Jews sans frontieres]
i'm enjoying Marcello's persuasive take on a new history of David Essex (and besides, i was never a big fan of VDGG as it happens).

what i really wanted to say, apropos of email from k-punk, is that perhaps the Kanye West LP is a 'Kid A' moment. or whatever the first Radiohead LP where they were all listening to the Warp back catalogue and Penderecki is, it is 'Amnesiac'? i dunno, i ain't really a big Radiohead fan (i.e., the one after 'ok computer'). but i remember at that time i found it quite exciting that they might bring Autechre into the mainstream of indie disco nights and the lower reaches of the pop charts, through Thom Yorke's enthusiastic patronage. hey, i was young and naive...

but like Maff says in his crucial and lovely piece on 'the college dropout' this God-botherin' talk is being dropped on Roc-A-Fella, not some undie concern.
also, the lad who sold it to me and had a enthusiastic conversation about various chitown emcees, etc., was a guy working in a chain record store of the lowest common denominator (trust me on that, i'll not name names but i wasn't in Powell's Jazz and Record Mart or anything), and so we can presume not some media type hipster that might no doubt decry Maff's views on the LP and damn it with faint praise as 'okie-dokie', so that's why i rate Ingram is really OTM there.
also that last trk it cracks me up when he's saying about his mom helping him move house and he complains, in a really matter of fact voice that clearly many people are going to be able to relate to, that the landlord is somewhat of a jerk.

not that i necessarily agree with Rob Hughes much of the time (or indeed, a little of the time on occasion), i just adore his cojones.

anyway, i wuv gilbert and george me.
briefly, one thing that is interesting about Hughes below (my favourite critic fullstop in the arts, to 'fess up, even if that makes one stuffy) is his hating on Hirst's pickled shark, do you recall his outburst it would have been more interesting if he'd caught the fucking thing himself, rather than hiring some bloke from Queensland to do it (or words to that effect).

also interesting is his grouping of Freud with Edward Hopper, his celebrated obit/essay on Rothko compellingly privileges Hopper above of, and ahead, from Rothko.
i think that's a contrary position, and actually quite a persuasive one.
three from the guardian site:

Migration rhetoric belies the facts

a press review wot th papers sez section notable in part for the ludicrous Melanie Phillips and wrong-headed approach of Tony Parsons.

Living in fear: my week with the hidden asylum seekers
incidentally, what with Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD perhaps in the loop again (apparently), there was a striking article from the washington post's fred hiatt yesterday (cutting and pasting cause it might get awkward with registrations).

On the 10th anniversary of South Africa's peaceful transition from apartheid to majority rule, outsiders may want to congratulate themselves. After all, didn't we all stand with Nelson Mandela, imposing economic sanctions until the white-minority regime gave in?

Well, yes, some countries did, eventually. But the rosy history forgets how controversial sanctions were -- how many people argued for "engagement" and against sanctions, which they said would only harm the oppressed black majority.

Self-congratulation is particularly misplaced when so many nations are slinking away from a moral challenge not all that different from the one presented by South Africa before 1994. No two situations are identical, but Burma, a Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people, presents some striking similarities:

• Egregious violations of human rights. The military generals who rule Burma, led by Gen. Than Shwe, maintain such an iron grip that possessing an "unlicensed" fax machine or quietly criticizing the nation's school system can land someone in jail for years. "Murder, rape, forced labor, child soldiers," was the recent summary by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of the regime's official policy. Amnesty International has identified some 1,300 political prisoners, many of whom have been tortured.

• A viable political alternative with moral authority. In South Africa, there was little doubt that Mandela and the African National Congress enjoyed the support of most people. In Burma, there is no doubt that Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy enjoy majority support: When the regime, in a momentary spasm of self-deluded confidence, allowed elections, the democrats won more than four out of five parliamentary seats.

• Support for sanctions from the people who know best. The ANC understood that international trade and investment barriers would hurt some of its supporters in the short run; that was a price, it believed, that had to be paid to win freedom. The NLD has been similarly clear.

• Experts ready to blame the democrats. South Africa's regime tried to promote fears of Mandela and his colleagues as radicals, Communists or revenge-seekers. In the case of Suu Kyi, a Buddhist committed to nonviolence, such vilification would sound preposterous. Instead, critics turn her principles against her: Georgetown University scholar David I. Steinberg recently suggested that she is "rigid and uncompromising." U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's special envoy to the country "emphasized the need for all the parties . . . to turn over a new page."

Given that Suu Kyi has been held virtually incommunicado since May 30, when government goons attacked her and her supporters, killing scores and injuring many more, it's hard to know how she could "turn a page" even if she were so inclined. Many of her top advisers remain in prison, and no supporters or journalists are allowed to speak with her.

That leaves the field clear for those who argue against sanctions. And sanctions are a blunt instrument; one can certainly be opposed to them without being an apologist for the regime. Steinberg and others argue that they only entrench the regime by impoverishing the people.

But it's also true that sanctions haven't really been tried. The United States imposed an import ban last summer, after the May 30 attacks, but the Europeans haven't followed suit, and the Bush administration hardly has pressed them to do so. Meanwhile, the administration is cozying up to the autocratic prime minister of Thailand, Burma's neighbor, who is busy shoring up Burma's regime even as he erodes human rights in his own country.

"Myanmar is not South Africa," writes another pro-engagement scholar, Robert H. Taylor. "Its politics are more complex than a battle of democracy versus authoritarianism."

By that standard, South Africa wasn't South Africa either; its politics were complex, too. And that complexity was often cited as an excuse for inaction.

"When we called for international action, we were often scorned, disregarded or disappointed," Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently recalled. But, he said, dismantling apartheid required international pressure, as will promoting democracy in Burma: "Sadly, tyrants choose not to understand the language of diplomacy or constructive engagement, but rather respond only to the action of intense pressure and sanctions."

Than Shwe and his generals are rumored to be planning Suu Kyi's release in a couple of weeks. Diplomats will be eager to claim credit and declare a problem solved. But undoing one of their many outrages is just a small step. Whether it becomes the first step toward democratic reform will depend in large part on whether the generals feel pressure from overseas, or whether they think they can keep blaming their prisoner for her "intransigence."

that bush article in a recent onion here, well, was in a coffeeshop the other day chatting to some woman and she seemed to think it was real.

she was either (a) a biscuit, unfamiliar with its satire
(b) engaged in a fairly sophisticated plot to befuddle the unwary traveller and just pretending to think that for ironic comedy purposes.

incidentally, who does that onion article remind us of, just a tad? yes, that's right (best use of Wikipedia since Hua's stepping-to re. Taiwan's elections? - incidentally Hua on NERD is vey good).

i feigned and parried like a minor dufflepud within the Narnian chronicles and came down on the fence, giving away just enough so either side could have gone back happy with the meet.
actually, i think i still rate 'memento' as a 'better' film than eternal sunshine of the spotless mind but there again i esteem it greater than 'requiem for a dream', a stance in direct and CONTROVERSIAL opposition to ello.
also the Cubs bt the Reds 7-4 on opening day which Dick CHENEY attended and Moises Alou ROOLS
i love Jon's 'Pusher asides

(not to mention recanting over Sherburne which is the rite thing such is the loveliness of Sherburne allyearround : check that remarkable economic drifting tale he recently linked to?)

i also loved those Sinclair quotes that Luka put up at his blog during his recent self doubt post. snap out of that funk Luke, i know Reading beat you, but you're still in the playoffs.

oh, 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind', it was alright, some wonderful shots and what a gift Carrey is, a large actor, starting to grow into something big due in no small part to his versatility. a film far easier to embrace than 'memento' and certainly funnier also, just different not worse or better.
Geeta's exposition of German expressionist flicks from the 20's that toyed with visual signs for mental illness was something that had enormous resonance watching the scenes when Clementine decides they should snoop in the beach house.
the Super8 quality of the reels towards the end, when it would have been far easier/more obvious to have early Boards of Canada and their rustic machinic soul soundtrcking (though i was singing the Beck, must shamefacedly admit...), could have worked really well.
that disintegrating was like moths fluttering around flame and was quite a lovely effect.
also still on Geeta i loved the sidebar on Folk Music of the Sahara but this (made me) beg the question, is it possible to write about that sorta thing (Tuareg trances &c) from a bornnbred non-Tuareg (in this case, again) western country perspective without getting all 'Mysterious / Other / Foreign' on yr reader's azz.
praps not.
also still on Geeta i was glad UConn. beat Georgia Tech principally because i wanted some other team in an earlier round to beat Georgia Tech and i cried into my catfish steak and milkduds when they didn't.
mind you i thought 'no logo' was a load of old rope.
a map of misreading

Noam Chomsky wants to clarify something George Monbiot said about his tamales/

Chomsky is right to, with judicious approach and even brow, apply a thoroughly sensible reinterpretation of where Monbiot fell down in misusing Chomsky in his original article here.
however the final paragraph lets himself down somewhat, no? Serbian diplomacy at the time: give over, that's what you call a smokescreen surely (diplomacy was "exhausted" prior to alliance action, to quote Joe Lockhart, don't forget).
writing "advocates...of intervention in Rwanda" in the manner that he does - and this week of all weeks - is a tad,well, ungenerous.
[of course i supported NATO airstrikes at the time but then soon after started to re-assess that rather unquestioning support of mine to the extent that i got all confused by the issue]

meanwhile, there is an eminently sensible leader in the guardian today
one thing i'm not feeling over at het graun is Naomi Klein's somewhat unseemly theorising [here's one possible answer... yeah, thanks for that]
Hughes on Lucian Freud [my girl Jess would be especially pleased with Bob's opening para.]
this one's for Ian '86400' Baxter:

Other Music Presents:

OPAQUE + LOCRIAN (guitars)

Return of the Glaswegian noisemeisters, joined this time
by local hero Locrian for a performance of their unique
arrangement of the national anthem ...


Sherry Ostapovitch (guitar) + Charlie Collins (reeds)

Inspired guitar melodies mix with electric pops, crackles
and scrapes. "Sherry mangles her guitar quite exquisitely"
- Night With No Name

At The Grapes, Trippet Lane, Sheffield
Bus: West St/Rockingham St or City Hall
Tram: West St or City Hall

8:30 p.m. Wednesday 14th April
£5/£3, all tickets on door

Friday, 2 April 2004

Darfur in Flames
and although John Bush is one of my more fave AMG writers, i think he's damning with faint praise and being rather unfair etc. in his piece on original pirate material here {about the stuff other than Skinner}

is he American? hmm,
there again, Cornelius Cardew, Simon H. Fell, Roots Manuva, George Formby, Coldcut, Pigfish, Bananarama, Bauhaus and an LP of spoken Jane Austen on the same list is somethin kinda delicious.
speaking of AMG sometimes they need to have a word with themselves, possibly even outside.

some very nice music i'm sure but metastyle of England?!

come on now, behave.
Joe on 'the college dropout' speaking sense (permalinks don't seem to work at his place)
Treddin on thin ice entry at AMG


maybe i have read this but although i've got a great memory for faces not in general for otherstuff so apologies for forgetting but this album will have 'Eskimo' and 'Icerink' on it?

April 26th official date, i'm sorry but i'm more excited about that then a grand don't come for free, people can saddle off with their kompakt and streets if they want, but...
it's addictive from the first tune.
one thing to note for the somedisco birthday is finally getting a copy of 'the college dropout' (well i am in chicago), i went along and got it me, and i was chatting to the boy in the shop who resembled a kinda (well it was a bloke i guess) slightly bigger version of the little one from 'diff'rent strokes' was it 'Willis' or was that just his catchphrase (well, it was a young man really), you know gary coleman ain't it? i forget, anyhow, was chatting to him about it, and he was recommending loadsa shops on the south side, and tape outlets for me to check out, and gave me a load of names of chitown emcees i'd consequently never heard of [the list of hip-hop figures from the windy city i'm familiar w' stops at do or die, twista, common and Kanye himself pretty much *ahem*...] - otherwise i could do proper RESEARCH IF I'D REMBERED HUH?? like Maff - (i told him i actually liked the sounds of the skits and having heard it, i still do, they're funny and fresh largely: the guy at the shop was wondering if the 'cliche he'd heard' about england was true with ref. to english fans thinking that 'three feet high and rising' was the last time an album had good skits which i thought was a general thing but then i remembered it was only ever places like jockey slut where i ever actually read that codified in cold, hard print, so erred on the side of caution) and i got it me.
and indeed it's the album of my year thus far off the top of my head.
KLASSIC photo caption over at Slumberlord on 'Toxic'
OK now i wanna really go sonar
Nick Hackneyed
Land of a Thousand Dances
k-punk on Destiny's Child at hyperdub
one thing about it being my birthday is trying to introduce some sidebars or something, a few links finally, am a luddite but it's about time!

following Jon Dale's influence i may have to quote someone (the august Harvell in his case) discussing the blog, whether indirectly or otherwise, on the mastbar. that'd be quite rocknroll innit.

but there's nothing too much cop out there about the great somedisco, alas/

i suppose i could use Reynolds' saying "idiosyncratic", Lukes assessment (in the mists of time this one) that i was 'quite nice', or something; or perhaps Robin w' "a corrosive intellectual force", yeah i quite like that one!
say it ain't so, Loaf?
incidentally american arthouses seem to be a bit behind the door, they're only showing 'blind shaft' round here at the moment! [also 'Broken Wings', you know the Israeli drama]

IIRC that was showing in london around last october or november and certainly in the rest of the uk by december.

incidentally that AMG link seems to be give a somewhat harshly cursory star rating, when i finally do my y2k3 lists of faves it'll be in the kino section, fer shewer.

fair enough it's a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut approach you could reasonably argue and so therefore a bit bombastic (Bang on a Can to the Eno of 'The Road Home' {'Wo De Fu Qin Mu Qin'}, to analogise on another recent Chinese film relatively widely seen back home??) but the performances and sketches are so affecting & impressive, it's no simple case of politics intruding too much on the narrative a la 'Lilya 4-ever', as one might argue.