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. 


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

#musicmonday : Manorexia – Canaries in the Mineshaft



Every parent can relate to that. Your child is your whole world: you love them more than you ever thought possible; you spend every waking moment fussing over them, cuddling them, cleaning them, feeding them, cuddling them some more, and fantasising about what they’ll be like when they’re older. But if you get the slightest chance to dump them on someone else and run the f*** away, you seize it with both hands and scarper.  Continue reading

Review of the Year 2011

It’s been a funny year. I spent most of it pregnant, which is a lot like being really hung over for nine months. Not really conducive to productivity. Now my tiny bundle of trouble is here, blog posts are hastily composed in the few minutes she is able to sleep without being cuddled up on my lap. It’s been a funny year generally, though. There were terrifying natural disasters, tumultuous political events, and a slew of zeitgeisty buzzwords. There were the riots in the the UK, which was the logical result of our filesharing culture: if you tell people that they can take music, films and games without permission, payment or consequence, then of course they’ll just start smashing shop windows and stealing televisions and consoles to play them on – because, really, what’s the difference?

Steve Jobs died, to worldwide mourning, and John McCarthy – who coined the term “artificial intelligence” – died the same month, to little fanfare. Amy Winehouse succumbed to her addictions, and Charlie Sheen miraculously survived his own. A royal couple who actually seemed to like each other got married. Lady Gaga got boring. An American preacher predicted the Rapture – twice – and was a little embarrassed when the dates passed without incident.

And a number of things were released that I rather liked.

Continue reading

30 day song challenge: day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad

jg thirlwell by seze devres 2009

Now that the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is finally upon us, I’m detecting a sadness in the air. It’s not just gloom in the news – there is always gloom in the news – but that literal gloom when it’s dark at teatime and the sun doesn’t rise for an hour or two after waking.  It’s not even seven at night and I’m typing this by dull lamp-light, deciding which fluffy blanket to snuggle under while I watch something comforting on DVD.

I just feel a bit like this

and given the nature of some of my friends’ Facebook updates, I’m far from the only one. Luckily, I have cheering-myself-the-hell-up down to a fine art after nearly 35 winters.

Continue reading

Free music! Free video game!

If you’ve ever liked music, there’s a reasonable chance that you have enjoyed the music of Portishead. I certainly did in the 90s, but lost touch with what they were up to some years back. At the end of this month, they’re curating a festival at Astbury Park, NJ. If that’s a little far for you, they’ve handily put together a free-to-download mixtape featuring the acts who’ll perform, including Battles, Factory Floor, Cults, Swans, DD/MM/YYYY, and Manorexia. I’ve only heard the first track so far (Oneida), but this is seriously good music. Continue reading

First impressions: Manorexia – Dinoflagellate Blooms

JG Thirlwell by Marylene Mey 2010

If Dinoflagellate Blooms was a child, it would be Elphaba from Wicked: all spiky angles and razor-sharp teeth. Obviously brilliant and intriguing, but brittle and bleak and lacking in warmth.

Taking Wallace Wylie’s advice, I acknowledge I’m clearly too emotionally attached to JG Thirlwell’s many aliases, and should expose any failings and hold them up to the light, but I can never bring myself to do it. I just politely leave a gap where any mention of YORK should be and move swiftly on to the next one. That’s, what, one bad album in 30 years? Besides, there’s nothing much to say about it: that was many years ago and since then Thirlwell’s released records faster than I can review them and all of them have been wonderful. Until now? Continue reading

#musicmonday – Manorexia: Fluorescent Radiation

It’s bloody horrible outside. The weather’s cold, wet and wild, and the sky is an uninspiring shade of grey. We spent the day shuffling around like zombies and waiting for five o’clock. It’s hard to get going on days like this, so I really need the right tune to pick me up.

Fluorescent Radiation, from Foetus’s soundtracky side-project Manorexia, is just such a treat. It makes me feel exactly like I’m being given a nice hot bath and a back rub after a really hard day – more overwhelming relief than mere enjoyment. With each alternately jarring and soothing stroke of the strings, it feels like knots of tension being teased out of my spine.