Here’s a review of John French’s recent Beefheart history opus Through The Eyes Of Magic and, what’s more, an exclusive interview with the man himself. Thanks to our guest contributor Stephen Toman for this!
Archive for the 'people' Category
Broken Arm’s ‘Shields Mystical’ CD is worth picking up for its fantastic cover alone:
What’s more, it’s printed onto nice rough card so it’s a tactile delight.
What’s more, the music is great and it’ll be directly up your street.
What’s more, the band features diskant.net alumnus Hugues Mouton. A man you can trust.
Plus, strange nudity trend:
Enjoying the spectacle of Michel Houellebecq’s Ma giving him a well-deserved literary smacking over his treatment of her in his over-rated softcore whinefest Atomised. (Though it’s unfortunate that the interview ends with the same cod-psychoanalytic drivel that characterises H’s work…)
In Standard Grade English classes, we had to put together a portfolio of creative writing. All the teenage boys included a story set in the future with an introduction that talked about the present but written in the past tense. I was amazed, on picking up this well-reviewed French literary sensation, to find that it began with the exact same “trick”. How come when we did it was clumsy and adolescent but this guy was acclaimed for his stylistic conceit?
But his work is thoroughly adolescent. Consider the novel’s main features: a relentless nihilism and a contempt for women based on almost complete ignorance of them as people. I don’t anyone who hasn’t grown out of that. (But then the number of successful novelists I know is low…)
Your man makes a fortune from middle-aged, middle-class angst on the back of a generalised backlash against feminism, sexual liberation and other concrete gains of the 1960s. Goes on to cement his reactionary politics and market niche by fulminating against Islam (this turns out to also be a way of lashing out at his mother).
In summary, Houellebecq’s book is good for nothing but wallowing in masturbatory self-loathing; his celebrity was his fortunate tapping into now-rising political trends; and a plague on all middle-aged, middle-class Brit lit-critics for fawning over poorly-written reactionary bile with the appearance of daring.
40 years after the near-revolution of May 68 we have an entrenched liberal elite repainting the Paris evenements (‘scuse spelling) as being solely about sex (cf. The Dreamers) versus a reactionary right happy to take advantage of the social gains while snarling (a la Sarkozy) about it being the source of all evil in the world.
I’m with the Situationists on this one. All power to the imagination!
The task of the various branches of knowledge that are in the process of developing spectacular thought is to justify an unjustifable society and to establish a general science of false consciousness. This thought is totally conditioned by the fact that it cannot recognise, and does not want to recognise, its own material dependence on the spectacular system.
Guitars are funny things. They break a lot. It can be very upsetting to say the least. Taking it into your local Enormostore isn’t exactly the best idea and you don’t often find quality guitar repairers in the Yellow Pages. Luckily for you, if you live within a few hundred miles of Nottingham, luthier and general life-saver Andy Farrell has finally got with the 21st century and has a website so you don’t have to go through the strange Masonic rituals that I had to go to to to find him when Wolves Of Greece were going through a guitar every 2 months.
Andy’s a rare commodity in the guitar world. As anyone who has ever gone into a guitar shop will tell you it’s possibly the only area of consumer goods where the old saying “the customer is always right” doesn’t apply. Most people who work in the world of guitars are either frustrated musicians, former Guitar Institute students, snobs or arseholes. Or a delicate combination of all of the above. Andy, on the other hand is as far removed from that stereotype as possible. And what’s more he once chinned someone in Academy Of Sound which puts him at the top of my estimations anyway.
He’s done countless repair jobs for me as well as for pretty much everyone connected to the Gringo Records label. He’s done work for nearly all of my guitar-playing friends at some point or another even managing to permanently re-assemble the infamous Telescopes guitar where others had failed when it snapped for the 4th time. He should really put on his website that he restored the Telecaster used by Franz Ferdinand from a right old shitty state a few years ago.
So, there you go. Loads of you play guitar, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t sneer or talk down to you and can offer you good impartial advice and make your gear work as well as it can.
So looky here: www.andyfarrell.co.uk
Hamburger-throated vocaliser Rick Froberg (Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) has a new rock & roll band call OBITS. If you ever wondered what Creedence Clearwater Revival would sound like doing ‘Commotion‘ with an absolute bloody-raw yelper on the mic (I have; often) then this band is for you. Not only that but Rick has a website set up of all his glorious artwork designed to make so-called ‘illustrators’ like me hang our heads in shame. Excellent!
dipsetmuthafucka has a mission:
“I will post a dance video every day until May 4th 2008. That’s the goal. 365 days of body rockin’.”
Some highlights thus far:
Oneida “Business In Japan” (live at Used Cars in Hamilton, Ontario)
Marvin Gaye “Can I Get A Witness?” (live at the Church Of Latter Day Saints, Hamilton, Ontario)
Can “Vitamin C” (live at Fortinos in Hamilton, Ontario)
The Maytals “Pressure Drop” (live at the Farmers’ Market, Hamilton, Ontario)
David Bowie “Suffragette City” (Live at Dakota Mae’s, Hamilton, Ontario)
Dave Day, the master of the amplified-banjo-in-the-name-of-lunacy passed away last week.
From the WFMU Blog
Here’s some rare footage of Dave kicking the collective ass of a studio of German youths and, thanks to You Tube, all of us too.
Everytime I open a music magazine, this moron is spouting some ill-informed guff back at me. First of all it was saying that, although he didn’t know that guy from Franz Ferdinand, he was positive that he didn’t think about his music with as much care and love as Serge thinks about the work he does in Kasabian.
That kind of pissed me off. “That guy from Franz Ferdinand” was putting on DIY gigs and playing in countless under-the-radar bands when old Serge was probably putting on an anorak and heading to Knebworth to see Oasis.
But, that’s cool. He’s missed the point. He was aiming his anger at something he mistook for something else. Everyone misses the point from time to time. I’m always doing it. That’s OK.
This month I opened up Q in WH Smith’s and browsed the Top Guitar Tracks selected by rock stars past and present. Serge had been quizzed and had chosen Cherry Red by The Groundhogs.
This threw me into a spin. Perhaps I had been hasty in labelling the guy a knee-jerking talentless fuckwad? Maybe he really does have good taste and maybe he’s actually a good guy.
He manages to get The Groundhogs in Q and then states he only heard the song a year ago and had ‘had a listen to the rest of the band’s stuff’ and ‘none of it compares’ apparently. In fact, he goes as far as to say Cherry Red is their ‘one good moment’, therefore dismissing a band’s entire recorded output and influence in exactly the same way future generations will (rightfully) dismiss his. Or more accurately, he dismisses a band with a 30+ year back catalogue in the same vein as an obscure one-hit wonder he’s dug up for the benefit of the world who, up to that point, were in the dark.
Serge from Kasabian: EAT A SHIT.
Found on the Fat Man’s site. We can all learn something from this.
1. LISTEN TO THE BIRDS…That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren’t going anywhere.
2. YOUR GUITAR IS NOT REALLY A GUITAR…Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you’re good, you’ll land a big one.
3. PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A BUSH…Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn’t shake, eat another piece of bread.
4. WALK WITH THE DEVIL…Old delta blues players referred to amplifiers as the “devil box.” And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you’re bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts demons and devils. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.
5. IF YOU’RE GUILTY OF THINKING, YOU’RE OUT…If your brain is part of the process, you’re missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.
6. NEVER POINT YOUR GUITAR AT ANYONE…Your instrument has more power than lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.
7. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CHURCH KEY…You must carry your key and use it when called upon. That’s your part of the bargain. Like One String Sam. He was a Detroit street musician in the fifties who played a homemade instrument. His song “I Need A Hundred Dollars” is warm pie. Another church key holder is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty making you want to look up her dress to see how he’s doing it.
8. DON’T WIPE THE SWEAT OFF YOUR INSTRUMENT…You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.
9. KEEP YOUR GUITAR IN A DARK PLACE…When you’re not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don’t play your guitar for more than a day, be sure to put a saucer of water in with it.
10. YOU GOTTA HAVE A HOOD FOR YOUR ENGINE…Wear a hat when you play and keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house the hot air can’t escape. Even a lima bean has to have a wet paper towel around it to make it grow.