Thursday, March 20, 2014

Trotskyites of Defeat


"Trotskyists of defeat, they export revolution not in order to save it but in order to evade it."*
-Corey Robin


Easterhouse were a Manchester band, notable for their connection to the Revolutionary Communist Party, a group of by all accounts unbearable lefties who ended up all unbearable, no left.

  The RCP's the more interesting story here: as the RCP split many members went on to Living Marxism, then to the Institute of Ideas, and most ended up finding a home at Spiked Online, where they pedal a hyper-charged "'twas young but now I know better" form of libertarianism and lazy contrarianism, such as how within critiques of economic inequality lie green shoots of oppression and totalitarianism.  Careful with that tax, Eugene!

  George Monbiot has written about the group, and Jenny Turner has a particularly interesting piece in the London Review of Books which covers some of the weirdness of the group and Frank Furedi's piss-poor research skills.  For some more, let's say speculative writing on the group, read Pandora's Docs, wherein an Adam Curtis fan comes to believe the filmmaker shares ideological affinities with the group and has included some of the LM types in his productions.

  In Canada, the nearest and closest practitioner of this would be Terry Glavin, who admonishes the left for their weak-kneed pacifism, etc; but unlike other pot-bangers and sword-rattlers, such as Andrew Coyne and David Frum, at least has the strength of his convictions to fly to a war-zone to get a picture taken with a machine gun.

  Oh yes, Easterhouse... Well, they were on Rough Trade and from Manchester and not the Smiths (though there were a few connections (check Wikipedia). The centre of the band, or the dialectical core (let's say), were the two brothers Andy and Ivor Perry.  Ivor Perry left in 1989 and the band's final album, Waiting for the Red Bird, has the tepid, head-nodding quality of contemporaneous CanCon rock, while the earlier work (which you can hear above) sounds a bit like The Sound or New Model Army.

*(h/t @equalitybfast for finding this quote)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Unicornio!




Nicolle Meyer is recognizable to most who know her as a model for her work with photographer Guy Bourdin. She was also a member of the German post-punk group Fred Banana Combo, who recorded with Neu! & Kraftwerk producer Conny Plank in the early 80s.

Greg Vandike's Animation sounds like a blueprint for Destroyer's (still terrific) Yr Blues album (along with the MIDI trumpets of King's Quest.)

From Argentina, Mercedes Sosa's magic voice with a (possibly kitsch) ballad about a lost blue unicorn, and from Chile, Quilapayún, the leading group of the politically engaged Nueva canción movement.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Thousand Pouts: Inge Fonteyne's Polaroids


A very brief article I wrote for Let's Panic magazine to accompany a selection of Inge Fonteyne's polaroids from the 90's.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Argos and Nauplia



Vangelis pairs with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson for some tuneful pleading beyond the moons of Jupiter in 1975. Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey works with Jo Callis of Human League and Roger Taylor of Queen in 1985.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Your Big & Wild Day!


Music

Words

Notes: The Trypes and Yung Wu were both projects related to The Feelies, as you can certainly divine from the songs, the latter a cover of Phil Manzanera's Big Day (which features production and vocal duties handled by Brian Eno).  Chunky, Novi & Ernie was an early Laurie Wood band - production handled by Mr. John Cale.  German opera singer and film actress Gerty Molzen turned in this cover of Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side in 1985, at age 80 and assisted by Gerd Plez of German new-wave group Hong Kong Syndicate (their catalogue is a difficult slog with a few interesting highlights, I assure you).  She performed it on Late Night with David Letterman in 1986.