Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crystal Castles - Not In Love ft. Robert Smith

On their brilliant self-titled second album that came out this year, the Crystal Castles covered Platinum Blonde's Not in Love. It's an obscure track and one that I had never heard before but CC took it and made it their own perfectly blending it with their unique style. But they have recruited Robert Smith of the Cure to make a new version to be released as a single in December. It's an awesome song, Robert Smith's yearning vocal elevates the song beyond their album version.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

International posters for The Black Swan

Black Swan is the next picture by Darren Aronofky, after the success of the Wrestler. It stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and has been labeled as a psychological thriller. I've heard it's a mix of David Lynch and Cronenberg which sounds good to me. The international posters for the film are amazing:

It is released in the US in december on limited release.
Uk release yet to be confirmed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bergman's Persona (1966)

'Don't you think I understand? The hopeless dream of being. Not seeming, but being. Conscious at every moment. Vigilant. At the same time the chasm between what you are to others and to yourself. The feeling of vertigo and the constant desire to at last be exposed. To be seen through, cut down, perhaps even annihilated. Every tone of voice a lie, every gesture a falsehood, every smile a grimace'

Monday, October 25, 2010


BLAST is a literary magazine of the Vorticist movement written by Wyndham Lewis, it can almost be read as a punk manifesto, sharing much of its contradictions and revolutionary approach. Here are some extracts: 

We stand for the reality of the present-not for the sentimental future, or the sacripant past.

WE ONLY WANT THE WORLD TO LIVE, and to feel its crude energy flowing through us.

The moment a man feels or realizes himself as an artist, he ceases to belong to any milieu or time.

Popular art does not mean the art of the poor people, as it is usually supposed to. It means the art of the individuals.

To make the rich of the community shed their education skin, to destroy politeness, standardization and academic, that is civilized, vision, is the task we have set ourselves.

We want to make in England not a popular art, not a revival of lost folk art, or a romantic fostering of such unactual conditions, but to make individuals, wherever found.

We are against the glorification of ‘the people,’ as we are against snobbery. It is not necessary to be an outcast bohemian, to be unkempt or poor, any more than it is necessary to be rich or handsome, to be an artist. Art is nothing to do with the coat you wear. A top-hat can well hold the sixtine. A cheap cap could hide the image of Kephren.

AUTOMOBILISM (Marinetteism) bores us. We don’t want to go about making a hullo-bulloo about motor cars, anymore than about knives and forks, elephants or gas-pipes.

Blast presents an art of Individuals.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Crystal Castles Bristol Anson Rooms Oct 17th

Great lighting, awesome music & a vigorous Alice Glass. In so many words: Awesome!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the Invisible Republic

Greil Marcus, one of the best rock n roll critics, has an anthology out in November containing his finest writing which covers four decades of Bob Dylan, including reviews and essays written for Rolling Stone, Creem, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. Essential for fans of Dylan and music journalism.

Also released is Bob Dylan's first 8 albums in mono, which went out of print back in the 60's. As Greil Marcus would attest, the only way to listen to Dylan. £60

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pop culture

Inventiveness, originality, subtlety, finesse are all words that I would be careful in using to describe the popular culture of today. Popular music is the easiest to criticise due to its fast decline in quality and so the one i'm going to write most about. Much of what I’m going to write though can be applied elsewhere in popular culture and not just to music. There is no denying that there are artists out there that really have something to say, and have a self-determined attitude and are challenging themselves. But these are often the same artists that are left on the sidelines. Only a few may break out big, and this may be often due to good timing, sugar coating their songs for public consumption, a TV/film tie in, or becoming tabloid fodder. To find the reasons why popular music is so lame would probably mean exploring the odd narrow-minded social norms of today which is too wide of a subject to write about here. Instead what we are left with is an irony-paralysed music that shows a startling lack of memorable and inventive tunes. Technically it is easy to see why since today’s music is written from the rhythmic track upwards, rather than that of music of the past which began from the melody/harmony idea. This often means that modern harmonic movements are predictable. But even some of the good artists of today work the same way so really it must be more of a concern with the obessive nature of technical skills that they can employ in the studio over that of expression. It seems expression has little or no place anymore; instead music is created like that of a product in a factory: mechanised and soulless. This doesn’t just apply to pop but to most popular genres of music including rap, which was once in the late 80s early 90s such an inventive, politically aware genre is now all but drowned in clich├ęs and bad humour. But it is pop music that has most certainly taken the biggest plunge in quality, showing little surprise or originality in structure, metre or melody. There sadly doesn’t seem to be much of a remedy for this, and people don’t seem aware or caring enough to want a change. Reality TV is only a small part of the problem I’d say, people are always quick to criticise it but popular culture has been declining for many years, probably starting as far back as the 80s.

Monday, October 4, 2010

dream of the dirt

Sometimes I believe in nothing and nothing believes in me. I just drift, drift, and drift. Even as they gather, some with hair like bouquets; I see nothing in their ovals. I see their features but there is no unity. I hear their words chirping but I can’t make sense of it. I hear ‘dream of the dirt, become the dirt. Salvation doesn’t thrive under any roof. You are a dabbler.’ They dissipate and it becomes silent. Sometimes I believe everything. Still I just drift, drift, and drift.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rock N Roll Psychosis

Wow! I've been waiting a while.....i've waded through so many limp records promising me something i thought long lost, but now here comes along a band to finaly set fire to my heart and make my soul breakdance and their name is Jim Jones Revue. Their tunes channel 50's rock and roll with a razor punk edge like that of MC5 and Dr.Feelgood among others. Don't get me wrong though, JJR aren't reinventing music, nor do they have a Elvis hip moment to drag in the kids. Nope. Rather they are breathing new energy into a quickily diminishing genre. By going back to the roots, they are finding the essence of the music that made it so irresistable to begin with. But this time your mum and dad might not dig it.

Look out for their new album not in a supermarket near you

La culture est l'inversion de la vie (culture is the inversion of life)

On inspiration & creativity

'Somebody at one of these places...asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it' - Charles Bukowski