Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bookmarks: Bow Wow Wow

Louder Than Bombs has caught up with Annabella Lwin, who you'll recall as the thirteen year-old McLaren bounced to the front of Bow Wow Wow:

Well I tweet here and there…I don’t know if I’m an official tweeter. I’m excited to be part of a new generation. A lot has changed obviously. It’s a good thing. It just keeps evolving. There’s an old saying, I don’t know where it came from, but it’s “Don’t put your daughter on the stage Mrs. Worthington”, and that’s when i kind of realized what that meant, through all these years. going from being a novice, to being in a band, to doing what I do now actually.

It definitely is not what it used to be when I started out. I think it’s become more homogenized. I don’t know if music is going to get better or worse, let’s put it that way. Everybody’s doing music in their living room now. The Reality TV world, they tried to look behind the door like “The Wizard of Oz”, but it’s a bit of a disappointment, isn’t it?

Punk's not dicks: Viv Albertine unerases the women

There's a punk exhibition at the British Library right now. You might think it perhaps curious that an anti-establishment movement is being celebrated by the establishment, but the process of assimilation has ensured that a familiar narrative has been smoothed over the spikes of punk.

Not least that women have been dropped from the narrative. Viv Albertine - at the library for an event to mark the exhibition - wasn't having that...

Update: it turns out it wasn't Viv who did it:

Update: it turns out it was Viv who did it:

So, erm, hope that's clear.

Bookmarks: Simon Scott

Headphone Commute have caught up with sound artist (and Slowdive drummer) Simon Scott, and takes a peek at his kit:

Can you please share some aspects of sound design in your work?
I always begin by using a field recordings to compose and create. Since 2010 it’s been consistently The Fens in Cambridgeshire where I’m surrounded by a subterranean landscape that fascinates me, and I generally work with these audio segments in MaxMSP. It’s endless in terms of compositional possibility so I’ve stuck to The Fens as a sound source and I actually don’t want too many options so I haven’t started using some of my field recordings from further afield yet. Right now I like the framework I’ve built for myself in Max and the limitations of just using environmental recordings from my small corner of the world, but I sometimes do need to simply just compose if I am working on a score or other project that isn’t a solo record.

Buskers beat the Metro ban

Busker in Washington, DC, have had a tough time of it in the last couple of years. Transit police have been moving them on from their pitches with more-than-required firmness.

Also more than legal firmness, too. Alex Young had already faced down the Metro transit authority and had the courts put a stop to the practice; this week he went back to court and won his costs. Which by that time, had got up to USD50,000.

The Metro had made things worse for themselves by trying to argue down the costs:

Jeffrey Louis Light, a private civil rights attorney who represented Young in conjunction with the Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville group that advocates for civil liberties, said Metro’s decision to contest the fees increased them by about $20,000 as the issue was drawn out in court.

“They’re a business,” said Light, who will take home $33,447.10 in the case at hourly rates of up to $661. “They need to make sensible business decisions. This is not one of them.”
Jeffrey had a further burn for the transportation authority:
“They spent time arguing over whether this guy should have his guitar case open, and for what?” he said.
The head of the Metro, Paul J. Wiedefeld, is currently learning the chords from The Boxer in order to cover the costs.

Mensch & Murdoch turn Bataclan into terrorporn

When terrible things happen to people, it's not unusual for the authorities to withhold some of the worst details. It's done out of respect for the dead, and out of concern for their families.

So it was with the slaughter in the Bataclan - the public was told of the murder; the bestial nature of what happened inside the venue was alluded to. But the fine detail - the horrific fine detail - wasn't made public.

There was no need - if you felt you required something more than 'people murdered because they were at a gig' before you felt it was unacceptable, before you were horrified, you might have a problem yourself.

At this point, enter Heat St. You probably haven't heard of Heat St - it's Rupert Murdoch's version of the Drudge Report, with Louise Mensch as the drudge.

You might wonder why, with a media empire stretching from the Wall Street Journal in the first circle down to The Sun and Fox News in the seventh needs a tattle-based website. It looks like the main motivation is a way to get "things" "out there" without tarnishing his mainstream brands.

And, yeah, if it's something that could tarnish a brand like the New York Post, you can imagine the sort of content they're publishing.

Hence, it was the natural home for an "exclusive" detailing what happened to people inside the Bataclan. Doubtless, Mensch and Murdoch would defend the publication in some vague 'it is important to know what we are dealing with'.

And it is.

But who didn't already know? Why hadn't already imagined the detail? Where is the audience going 'when I thought it was just shooting the people sitting in the area reserved for the disabled and laughing, I was going to cut ISIS some slack but this feels like they went too far?'

There's nobody who needs this terrorporn.

It's funny that the sort of people who wail 'you're playing into their hands' when the BBC forget to add "so-called" in front of "Islamic State" are quite happy to re-up ISIS propaganda and to burnish their reputation when it might get a few extra clicks for a website.

There are monsters everywhere. Why would you work with them?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This week just gone

Most-read things in the first half of the year:

1. Liveblog: The Brits
2. Record Shop Day brings about The Avalanche's closure
3. Half Man Half Biscuit cycle trip
4. Liveblog: Eurovision
5. James Blunt tries to say the right thing
6. David Cameron's Rita Ora briefings
7. Russia aren't happy about Eurovision
8. Radio X listeners love Oasis
9. Illness causes Prince to break a journey
10. Beyonce makes the right wingers' heads hurt

New releases:

Garbage - Strange Little Birds

Download Strange Little Birds

Various - C87

Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle - Colvin & Earle

Download Colvin & Earle