Epilogue: JG Thirlwell’s inspiration

JG Thirlwell by Scott Irvine 2006

Since my first post was about how JG Thirlwell inspired me, it seemed only fitting to let the Foetus man have the last word. 

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I’m sorry to see Princess Stomper’s entertaining blog disappear and hope she continues her observations elsewhere. In light of the “inspired” theme of her blog, I was asked to comment on what inspires lately. You can get an idea of this by looking at my Tumblr blog, where I make entries about cultural events that I’ve experienced and other stuff.

But I’d like to comment on the fertile community of artists in NYC that work outside of the gallery system, and create unselfishly for the love of it, and in doing so have created their own cosmos. Continue reading

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Top 100 singles of all time: from Bjork to the Beach Boys

367px-Björk_Rock_en_Seine_2007_by Bertrand

It’s an almost sad feeling as I wrap up this list – bundling in the top 40 in one final swoop – before tomorrow’s grand finale. I don’t even know what was going through my mind as I wrote the original list, beyond how far I agreed (or disagreed) with the traditional entries on such charts. Perhaps what surprised me was how orthodox my tastes are – perhaps simply because those songs are undeniably good – though I hope my more detailed individual postings have entertained, imparted a bit of trivia on your favourite songs, and maybe introduced you to something you hadn’t heard before.

With that in mind, I’m going to skip over the ones you already know well – Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (which always sounds oddly weedy compared to the bowel-shreddingly heavy version in my head); River Deep, Mountain High; House of the Rising Sun, etc. (my top 40 is dominated by songs from the 60s). I’ll pause to mention Higher Than The Sun, because however many accolades have been awarded to Screamadelica, it still does not have the recognition such an otherworldly, transcendental song deserves.  Continue reading

Top 100 singles of all time: The B52s, Kate Bush, Aerosmith, Run DMC and the Sisters of Mercy

The B52s - Rock Lobster

What’s the word I’m looking for? Congruence? Confluence? A meeting-point where the weird and the popular align. I’ve been impressed by that a lot lately – how curveball acts like Dutch Uncles and Everything Everything have become as commercially successfully as they are acclaimed.  Even so, even 35 years on, there has never been anything quite like Rock Lobster. Continue reading

How Twitter works (and why you need to know about it)

twitter-logo

Following yesterday’s post, I had quite an interesting conversation with someone from the didn’t-retweet band. What transpired over the course of the discussion was that, by the band’s own admission, they didn’t really understand how Twitter worked. More to the point, I got the feeling that the label didn’t really understand the medium, either. Social media have come so far in eclipsing websites and emails that is very worrying if anyone along the chain isn’t engaging with it properly, so I’m listing my response here (redacting names) in the hope that it would be helpful to anyone else who doesn’t really “get”  how it works. Continue reading

Princess Stomper answers your dilemmas (more seriously this time)

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With only five days left until Reinspired closes its little internet doors, I figured it was time to impart some wisdom (whether you like it or not).

1. I feel like everyone’s ignoring me

Are you talking about Facebook here? Because the very tool that promised to connect you is actively keeping you apart from your friends! You’ve heard it many times by now – if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product, and Facebook is cashing us in. After getting practically everyone in the world to sign up, it’s now actively hiding our posts from each other – and I’m not just talking about the 30% or so of your friends that you’ve stuck on ignore.  Continue reading

Interview: Kavus Torabi (on Knifeworld, Cardiacs, Monsoon Bassoon and that snooker bloke)

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After my bizarre dream about Kavus Torabi the other day, I figured it was time to badger him into sitting down to answer a few questions. On the off-chance you’ve forgotten who he is, he’s the wild-haired guitarist from Cardiacs, Knifeworld, Guapo, The Monsoon Bassoon, Chrome Hoof and a dozen other collaborations.

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I figured I’d start with asking him how he wound up working on The Interesting Alternative Show, a weekly prog-rock indulgence co-hosted by Steve Davis. Dare I ask he wound up doing a radio show with some bloke famous for playing snooker?

KT: Well, it was fairly straightforward. Steve is a massive music fan and has impeccable taste. We met at a one month residency Magma were doing at this wonderful venue, Le Triton, in Paris. We pretty much hit it off straight away. He came to a couple of Cardiacs shows, we started hanging out quite a lot, he had me as a guest in The Interesting Alternative Show which he had been doing for a couple of years or so. It was such fun he suggested, if I was up for it, perhaps I could come in on a more full time basis … which ended up being every week.

Continue reading

Chloe Howl – the best new things in pop are free

Chloe Howl src Facebook

With only 11 days left to go on this blog, it’s great to find an exciting new discovery. Chlöe Howl is the new Lily Allen when we didn’t even know the old one needed replacing. (Hey, don’t worry, Lily, we still love you.)

Chlöe has that same streetwise sneer, the witty lyrics, the edge of disdain. She drops her Ts in all the right places. She has a voice that sounds like cheap whiskey and borrowed cigarettes and getting the last bus home. She has the effortless beauty of the immaculately styled – you can imagine her surrounded by executives yelping, “We can SELL this!” – but she’s worth buying into. Actually, you don’t even have to – the EP is downloadable for free.  Continue reading

Thom Yorke spells out the downside of pay-what-you-will

Thom Yorke at Latitude 2009 photo by Hero of Sorts

This is a very interesting post from The Trichordist, which eloquently sums up my feelings on how music is treated. Yes, it’s always been a business, but, ironically, at least Sony et al actually cared.

‘”We were so into the net around the time of Kid A,” he says. “Really thought it might be an amazing way of connecting and communicating. And then very quickly we started having meetings where people started talking about what we did as ‘content’.’

– Thom Yorke talking to the Guardian

>> Read on >>

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The new rules of growing old gracefully

Nick Cave 2009 New York City David Shankbone

I was reminded an old post I made here, back when I could write. It’s not that I’ve forgotten how to do it, or magically been zapped by some wicked witch, but I’ve just run out of time and enthusiasm. I wonder if that’s what happens to everyone in the end. When was the last good Metallica album you heard? Isn’t the best recent Ministry album a pale copy of Psalm 69? I might hope for a good new NIN album, but we’ll likely get a dull slab of corporate dad-rock with some tinkly bits.

What happened to us all?

We got old. Rock ‘n’ roll comes with a deadline, and when you reach it, time to die or move on. You’re not supposed to still be there at 50.  Continue reading