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Just watching Kaiser Chiefs on some what was it ah yes CD UK 'review of the year' (ha ha): why is it that every time I finally hear one of the current outbreak of C4/NME tub thump type 'great invigorating future of English guitar bands!' guitar bands ... they sound like (god i'm ancient) The Ruts? or The Members?

Go instead to Trueboy and play the MP3 of My Bloody Valentine live: wow. I'm not even much of a guitar rawk boy, but that sure sounds like heaven to me.
(NB: this live sample is also exactly how I'd always thought Sonic Youth would sound after all the blether I heard about them - but they never did; always something too much of the SoHo NYC art gallery about them somehow...)

I listened in shock and awe to the SA RA cd Matt sent me the last few days and was utterly seduced - such a strange intoxicating bloom! It sounded like these nerdy guys who'd been locked in a room for 18 months with just the first two Bootsy lps and first two Chrome lps for company. (Or substitute Sly, and The Residents.) Strange grey alien drug-strippled fonkateers, doomed to release one or two briliant records and then fade back into the half lite....
Now I read they're all feckin Harvard Business School speak and World Domination flow charts and Meet My Celebrity Pal guest spot about it - and I just can't listen to it; I really can't. (OK, yes, I'm a self hypnotised victim of the Romantic Fallacy: but I mean shit, I've been this way 30 years, it's a bit late to mend the error of my ways now...)

Over Xmas I finally got round to reading two authors I'd never actually read before: Stephen King and Michel Houellebecq. As far as pessimism about the sexual relationship goes - King is infinitely more fundamentally more depressing. It made me think that if someone like Michael Haneke (Funny Games) could be persauded to remake The Shining (a film whose supposed greatness I've never been able to see) - with unknowns in the lead roles - it might just (re)capture the spirit/letter of King's original text.
(PS: what a shame that Houellebecq's name isn't pronounced the way it looks. I waited weeks to use my "AIN'T NO HOUELLEBECQ BOY!" strap, and now discover I can't...)

Does anyone else but me watch Ideal on BBC3 and think it's great - much better than all the smug and over-rated comedies on TV at the moment? The Xmas Special Edition contained absolutely the spookiest and strangest moment on TV all Xmas - perhaps all year (vying with the re-show of Whistle and I'll Come To You, which btw didn't disappoint and was as genuinely unnerving and creepy as I'd hoped) - (but back to Ideal) - i.e., the scene where "Cartoonhead" takes this wannabe guy into an empty bedroom for some kind of criminal 'initiation '... (great use of slurred haunty electronicah here too)... and then ... euh; never mind; you saw it (and now can't get it out of your mind) or you didn't. Creepier than anything Lynch has done since Blue Velvet.

Talking of over rated: The South Bank Show 'special' on Little Britain. Shameful - that things should have dumbed down this far. "Well, you see, what we do when we get together to make cheap dog food is, first we chop up the piles of stinking left over meat, and then ..." It was exactly like having two teenage comedy boors EXPLAIN to you in precise prissy nerdy teenage voices how they could scientifically PROVE that Red Dwarf was the funniest thing ever shown, ever, anywhere in the universe and that the use of the phrase "smeg head" was actually 'rev-ol-utionary' don't you know ... except with fat suits, misogyny and gay self loathing thrown in.
You would hate to be Matt Lucas' shrink, you really would, wouldn't you?

Couldn't fucking get away from Bono over Xmas: went in supermarket there was his sodding biography or auto biography; went in newsagents and there he was in another bloody "EXCLUSIVE" interview; switched on morning/afternoon telly and there was the leprechaun c*nt doing the title track from the most OVERRATED ALBUM IN THE WORLD (Sgt Peppers) for Live8;...
... but I really can't be bothered to re-up-take the U2 thread. Let's just say that to use the word 'radical' in any sentence about Bono/U2 is to denigrate the word 'radical', and/or drain it of all meaning. Bono is radical only in the same way as, say, those arty tyre adverts (with "Venus In Furs" back-up music) were once claimed to be: in the end ... (hey; maybe I will re-up-take this thread. I mean, there sure are a couple of things I'd like to say about Live8 and race ...) (especially now that Geldof has taken the Tory shilling; doesn't his "I'll advise ANYONE on this issue..." sound just like some morally neutered Multicorp spokesperson saying "We'll sell our product to ANYone in the developing world..."? Now Mrs Thatcher - she was radical truly. Not a radical a lot of us liked, for sure, but it was still radical ... like surgery, dude, like surgery.)

I tell you what is radical - this Bhangra cd 05 round-up Matt also sent me. Jesus - the production on some of ths stuff. It reminds me of when I had to review this Best of JA Ragga comp for The Wire in 19ninetywaybackwhen - and I thought : these guys are decades ahead of everyone else, in mixing desk terms: this is the FUTURE. (And lo - so it was.) Similar SHOCK on some of these tracks: there's one track whose instrumental storm sounds more like Coil than anything on The Ape of Naples... sheer electrick storm head torsion.
(About the latter: one reason I've said nothing here is because I'm reviewing it for The Wire; the other reason is, yes, a kind of perplexed disappointment about the thing. It hurts - it really really does. I mean, I don't want to give what is in effect a memorial cd (from the only band in the world I would even think of using the word LOVE in connection with) a bad review, Hecate knows, but ... oh, I don't know. Anyone else feeling the same thing? So that I feel less alone? Anyone?)

posted by Ian 12/31/2005 11:20:00 AM

(6) comments



They’re angry but there’s no ANGER in there.
They’re sexy but there’s no SEX in there…
All that remains afterwards is a mild Calvin Klein like
spritz in the air … PASSION by U2. Or rather,
“PASSION”. Or “Politics”.
(With no interruption from the Real.)

Music w/ qualities?
(See Sloterdijk; Brecht; Lacan; Zizek)

Politicos feel safe in his presence – he's not going to do a Morrison on them or anything.
They can get the kudos without having to – [ADD] - he's the West Wing pop star - you wouldn't mind Chloe dating...

Can’t remember a single song since they went "po mo".

Haven’t changed the way music is played.
Haven’t changed “politics” in one single way or bit. Worse – there is a pernicious effect, I estimate. When Bono sez “we make our audience feel powerful, like they’re part of something,” I wince: he’s hit the bull on the arse there. That’s just what I fear: that this U2/Live8 audience goes away slightly teary, slightly glowing, slightly enraged, thinking, YES, everything is GOING TO GET BETTER NOW… because NICE people like us and Bono and that nice Richard Curtis are involved and that’s as far as Bono’s “political” effect goes. They maybe give a yearly sop to Charity. Dibley activism. (The faint smell of religiosity seems to crop up again and again somehow... [DEVELOP])

Earlier this year. An edition of Late Review (which I must admit over the year I found increasingly cringe making until I reached a point I could not sit through it at all), Under review: U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (I mean – first things first – just… ick –isn’t that just a sheer last-minute BLAH of a bad title? Doesn’t it sound like the sort of thing Spinal Tap might come up with if they wanted to re-launch as sharing caring new political conscience Tap?) (and by the by, for all his famed impishness et cetera, how many million years would it take U2 to get within even perimeter fence distance of a song as wonderful as Charles Mingus’ “Oh Lord Don’t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me”?) (and isn’t that the problem the crux here – scrub away all the hype and mythology and seduced Interviewers reporting Bono’s every autopilot remark – when it comes down to it – i.e., what we hear – aren’t U2 always going to be 10 parts Lennon to no parts Mingus? – All canonical Imagine and nothing surreal or sinner lady or uncanny?)(and here we would have to CRITICALLY reconsider the whole role of Eno in this – on all sorts of levels – {e.g. I’m sure some people think, well, if B.E. is involved they must have something going for them – but the very fact that even the merest HINT of anything LIKE sonic agitation or difference can only come about via the blatant backroom glitch-for-hire APPLIQUE of Eno – this strikes me as deeply suspect… {I mean – at the very least – shouldn’t they be able to do that shit themselves by now, like Radiohead? not to mention… i mean: you read Eno's wonderful A YEAR diary, and you really warm to the guy on so many levels, but here's one you don't which is: who he works with, what it all amounts to, which is: U2? JAMES!? Is that IT!? What is it you don't work with someone who might know what you're talking about and argue back? And then Eno looks ever so slightly control freak and Management Consultant - and you think of the early Eno quotes about cybernetics and Stafford Beer and you then think about the awfully soiled and dubious history of the relationship between post-Freudian psychology and ADVERTISING and ... and then you see Emma Freud and Mathew Freud running around backstage at Live8 and ...}
Where was I?
Late Review
Paul Morley vs. John Harris.
Now I love Paul like a twin brother I was separated from at birth and wasn’t told I had till 17 years later, and there’s something about Harris that narks and niggles me (I won’t even mention his sarky remarks re Kate Bush where he completely missed the sonic feminine ecriture point) B-U-T… I have to admit, here, I was rooting, actually cheering for Harris here. Paul basically gave his Observer article in miniature spin-doctor sound byte version – barely mentioned the album itself, the music, the songs, just waxed woolly and lyrical and fuzzily abstract about the heroic virtues of U2, the very fact that they were still going and still had dignity intact was a huge and staggering VIRTUE IN itself (it’s JUST the way that otherwise sane left wing columnists used to sometimes HYMN the last POPE, coincidentally)… to which, Harris was dry and daggers-drawn stiletto analytical, he took Paul’s fuzzy abstract, and compared it with the Real small print U2 – what the songs actually are, how they sound, what the words are (and how they sound – i.e., like they were slapped together at the last minute, any old fuzzily ambiguous heroic couplet…etc), how the music actually sounds in sonic terms… and drew the only honest conclusion you CAN really draw: U2 – one you clear away all the camo – far from being in any way “radical” are barely interesting on a Radiohead sort of level.
The weird thing was - Paul took it so personally; he’s usually so light and funny on these programmes, but he LOST it here (in both senses). He was eye-ing Harris like: this is MY turf, you shouldn’t… Or maybe: deep down: he was thinking: HE is EXACTLY how I would have been once… arguing in 1981 against an ossified Stones ... I've turned into a Keith Altham for U2 ... (? Sorry. Music biz inside-joke, kids.)

Later in the year: a different programme. BBC arts programme. Paul profiling REM, interviewing Stipe. Roles reversed. As far as REM go, Paul can’t see why they really bother any longer. It’s been so long since they …mattered. Who can sing a memorable REM song, since “Everybody Hurts”? (I mean – you might say the same thing about U2 since – what? “One”?, but no matter.) Stipe is aggrieved. How dare anyone. The point here is that Paul said to Stipe EXACTLY what most of us would say to U2: why not just go and be a film producer or politician? Why bother with the group any longer? There are a 1000 more interesting blooms in the sonic universe.

But Bono has a Lennon/Clinton like hypnosis effect on people: they forget all the looming contradictions, the dull conservative music, the carefully pruned and attended mythic profile, etc, and just fall under the spell / uphold the myth. Any of us who don’t go along with the conjob are accused of lacking, oh I don’t know, something like … PASSION.
There’s a (for me) giveaway quote in the Bono piece where he says:-

{Hah! Just as I left off here to find-the-quote I swear Bono’s PASSION soaked voice echoed out from my TV – oh god no! - the Live8 story.
[Just over five months ago and it’s already – History!
July 2nd 2005.
“…for a few moments in July ... it felt like music could change the world…”

[I broke off here first to scribble all the incriminating quotes from the Live8 docu;
…to be contd]

Bono = father X-mas.
If you BELIEVE he’s radical he is. If you BELIEVE he will bring us our pop-as-passion dreams, he WILL.

Just like the politicos he glad-hands – the Clintons, Pope Smileyface, etc – people think Bono somehow untainted by the muck and stink of the real, or real politics. But there’s a downside to that too.
For if you put a rappers gun to peoples heads and forced them to say WHAT or even IF – a list of all the SMART things he’s said over the years; or the REAL change he has effected; or to whistle the TUNE - any tune -of a U2 hit from last 10 years – yeah go on! Whistle ‘discotheque’ or ‘the fly’! whistle in fact anything except 'she moves in mysterious ways! Or the opening “Hel-lo Hel-lo” of the last one…You see, I wouldn’t mind so much if they could produce halfway decent pop records. But they don’t even do that any more.

Clinton has the same charisma apparently – people say – I was cynical but then we shook hands and Bill turned that killa charm on me and I wuz roadkill… [Again people – esp. democrats/left – were outraged that Hitchens should actually analyse Clinton or Mother Theresa on the same terms as everyone else; because they'd somehow gotten a "pass"... [develop this thought.]

Bono has CHARM in buckets. But can anyone remember ANYTHING smart or funny he's said? (At all at all? In a song...? In passing...?)

And I REALLY don’t think something monolithic and for all intents and purposes EVIL like the Bush administration is going to re-review all its creepy policies just because Bono twinkled for 5 minutes at Commander Coo-Coo Bananas. (Bush isn’t in charge: the corporations are. The same UNIVERSAL corporations that Bono works for and gives a good face to...)

Bono exemplifies: If you’re On the big stage: then you might as well meet the BIG PEOPLE.
BUT THIS JUST UPHOLDS THE WHOLE STAGE/AUDIENCE or people/politics seperation.. Whereas something like the civic togetherness and agitation of the street protests…

Shit. I’m too tired to take this where I want it to go. Maybe after Xmas…

posted by Ian 12/22/2005 11:26:00 AM

(4) comments




Fire blooms, peace of mind, splendid
agitation, and freedom from this damn
pestilential flu virus which currently
means I can't place one word in front
of another without a 43 second pause
for thought. (Better than a two year
pause though, I guess: especial thanks
to K-Boy and T-Punk for making me
want to post again...)

There should follow here a few really
funny & articulate posts. Instead, let
me just say that I too am utterly baffled
by U2's mind-hold over otherwise sane
individuals; {maybe for, uh, visionary
U2-hackiographers (sic)
like Morley and Michael Bracewell -
smart boys, who think Pop Culture in
Big Blocs (not a criticism, it's something
that I can't do: I will obsess over the micro
grain of one sung word of one song
for years and miss the
bigger picture),
Bono is the post-modern equivalent
of early 70s Keef On Tour, and ... sorry:
mind's gone dead again...}

drip... drip... drip...

also: British readers
should all watch out tonight for the
BBC4 screening of "Whistle and I'll
Come To You My Lad," from the MR
James story
of the same name.
(I still wish someone at BBC would repeat
The Stone Tape, but this'll do for now.)
There's a COIL LIVE track where JB
starts crooning "Whistle and I'll Come
To You My Lad," and then morphs its
beachside reverie into distinctly
Pasolini/Burroughs terrain
("Whistle and I'll fuck you with a
...") and ... mind gone again.

Happy Winterbend, pawfoot people.

(I know civiliisation has a lot to
recommend it, but given the choice
between having to construct a huge
fire on top of a cold & remote hill;
or having to go off now and
struggle through Gap... I 'll take
the Sun Worship every time.)

posted by Ian 12/21/2005 10:43:00 AM

(4) comments



Field Notes} {i

"the funny little mushroom boys / with their fungal strategies."

These mushrooms, wouldn't you know it (and I didn't), are called ...
Amethyst Deceivers.

{Just found more of them, over at this site, which makes me wish -
really really really wish - I was spending this particular timebend
clutch of shivery days in Wales or Scotland...}

posted by Ian 12/18/2005 04:04:00 PM

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{Retrieved notes from 2005
First in an occasional series.}

“ […] Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences – deep, corrosive, obstinate differences, radiating painful roots into the community and into the family and the nature of the individual. These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the negro they are a constant reminder of oppression.”

This was said not by Kanye West in 2005, but by …
… Lyndon B Johnson circa 1965!!!!
(Can’t recall where I found it.)
Now, OK, it was probably – more or less cynically – scripted for him by some intellectual-for-hire; but still, what’s incredible about this is the language: that this sort of language was acceptable then as the language of civil/public/media discourse. Can you imagine George C.C. Bush using such language? And I don’t just mean politically; I mean words such as “corrosive” and “obstinate” and (most of all) “anguishing” – as opposed to the sort of spectral/weasel syntax he does use (i.e., “faith based initiatives”).

posted by Ian 12/15/2005 02:14:00 PM
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I really like that over at the online New Yorker they don't do that thing where you get a few seductive paragraphs before finding out you have to sign up & subscribe to get any full articles. Fab current issue with Sasha Frere-Jones on Reggaeton; and one of my favourite mainstream critics, the wonderful Hilton Als, with a lovely, sad, empathetic, acute archive portrait of Richard Pryor, that does proper justice to the man's blue black complexity.

posted by Ian 12/15/2005 11:37:00 AM

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Fantastic line from the latest Simpsons season:

Homer to Bart:
"We're going to send you to another school!
And if you get kicked out of that school, you're
going straight in the army, where you'll be sent
to America's latest military quagmire. Where
will it be? North Korea? Iran? Anything's possible
with Commander Coo-Coo Bananas in charge!"

Wikipedia may have its flaws, blind spots and
controversies, but I find it hard not to like the
every-last-detail archive it has devoted to
America's first family ...

posted by Ian 12/12/2005 09:32:00 AM
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Laying awake at 6.30 this morning listening to this on headphones, and thinking about Richard Pryor ... well, let's just say that I had difficulty with all the sentimental (as I saw it) macho bullshit that attended the recent passing of George Best; I mean, c'mon, the guy was a wife beater and serial drunk driver, and he drank away a donated liver. I thought all the talk on the news about "battled demons" was sheer mystification, projection, nonsense, whatever: he gave the impression of being a man who manifestly refused to battle anything in himself or life that involved more than an arsescratch of effort or self-knowledge (or, indeed, the smallest divergence from a certain narrow, patronising cliche of working-class-boy-made-good, which is the tattered remnant most of the post-match eulogies relied upon) ; and when his son (who, I think I'm right in saying, GB had no hand whatsoever in bringing up) says he was a "good man", well, I'm sorry, but - on what or whose terms? He was a superlatively good footballer (tho' a lazy sod, to boot). But good man? Really? Why lie? He had this one gift - which, if anything he seemed slightly bemused by or resentful of; the rest is waste, leftover time, squalor, repetition compulsion, and the ragged hinterlands of a certain sort of "celebrity" (in his latter years, Best's main source of "income" was selling stories about himself to the tabloids, which, if that isn't the very definition of a certain sort of post-modern purgatory I don't know what might be: in order to have a story to sell you have to fuck up... and on, ad an infinitum of nauseams) - a squalid, worthless, ethically dubious "celebrity", moreover, that his son seems to have followed him into, for want of any other taught skill or inherited or cultivated gift on his own part. (Let's just hope that Callum Best doesn't have a son who is famous for being the son of a son of someone who at least once did one thing well or beautifully.) All in all, it seems like a terrible allegory. (I actually find someone like Tony Adams far more moving, as someone who did genuinely "battle" his demons - and twice over, really, given that for working class men of a certain stripe or generation, it's not an easy thing to give up the defence of a certain saloon bar backslap 'Everything's fine, mate!' lifestyle, and take the lessons of therapy onboard.)

Still, yes, Richard Pryor: you think of Blazing Saddles and the early albums, and, most of all, that groundbreaking first concert movie. But, just like Best, there was then the long decline into pay-upfront marking-time work (all the shitty films with inferior talent where you can almost literally see Pryor reigning himself in, looking off-set for the accountant's or ex wife's encouragement/threats, or the crackpipe hidden in the bathroom) - harmless charmless movies the equivalent of Best playing for one more unlikely Divison Schlump club for one more perpetual-autumn season; the almost devoted, concerted pursuit of self-destruction, as if it were an alternative 9-5 job; (not the sort of 'self destruction' indulged in by jobbing pop/rock stars for a few lairy months before they Priory it and emerge saintly & sanitised to (re)sell their god damn belly button fluff "journey" or story "arc" which just coincidentally coincdes with their new Avid Merion charity 45 or come-back tour, but a literally suicidal course).

But I think about that concert movie - some kind of pinnacle, miracle, laughter like an apocalypse, a simultaneous remembering and forgetting (you remember: we're all thus so frail and forlornly and freakily human; you forget: your self, your heavy, earthbound, bleating self). And was all the pain and waste erased by those moments of supra-human sensitivity, blasphemy, joy, defiance? Sculpting sheer nervless sublimity from the chaos and darks of a life which he just wasn't meant to have? You feel like a child again watching some of it, and you think: how can one man contain so much rage and so much tenderness in one body? Are our leaky human shells meant to carry so much unbalanced freight? Doesn't shit like that fuck you up?

It sure does.

posted by Ian 12/12/2005 07:38:00 AM

(3) comments


And another HERO bites the dust...


posted by Ian 12/11/2005 03:12:00 PM

(0) comments



We are children / we are children of the black sun…”

Among the gods of Eastern origin who in the decline of the ancient
world competed against each other for the allegiance of the West
was the old Persian deity Mithra […] In respect both of doctrines
and of rites the cult of Mithra appears to have presented many
points of resemblance not only to the religion of the Mother of the
Gods but also to Christianity. The similarity struck the Christian
doctors themselves and was explained by them as a work of the
devil, who sought to seduce the souls of men from the true faith by
a false and insidious imitation of it. […]

An instructive relic of the long struggle is preserved in our festival of
Christmas, which the Church seems to have borrowed directly from
its heathen rival. In the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of
December was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as
the Nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and
the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point of the year.
The ritual of the nativity, as it appears to have been celebrated in
Syria and Egypt, was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain
inner shrines, from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry,
“The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!” The Egyptians
even represented the new-born sun by the image of an infant
which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and
exhibited to his worshippers. No doubt the Virgin who thus
conceived and bore a son [sun] on the twenty-fifth of December
was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the
Heavenly Virgin; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte. Now
Mithra was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun, the
Unconquered Sun, as they called him; hence his nativity also fell on
the twenty-fifth of December. The Gospels say nothing as to the day
of Christ’s birth, and accordingly the Church did not celebrate it.
Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the
birthday of its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to
transfer the devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was
called the Sun [son] of Righteousness.

frm: The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer.

posted by Ian 12/10/2005 11:36:00 AM

(1) comments



{including the following lyric,
which I hadn't heard when i
posted yesterday's
ornithological speckulations...

so pay your respects to the vultures
and to the crows
and to the carrion crows
and to the ravens
those graven ravens
and to the carrion crows
and to the rooks
and to the rooks
and to the vultures


posted by Ian 12/08/2005 02:14:00 PM

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And this, this must surely be the new PILL BOX logo...

posted by Ian 12/07/2005 03:30:00 PM
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Another feathered head...
... from Bush to Zurn and back again?

posted by Ian 12/07/2005 03:24:00 PM
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Birds of a feather

"Your name is being called by sacred things
That are not addressed nor listened to

Sometimes they blow trumpets...
{Kate Bush, "Big Stripey Lie"

Jhon Balance would have liked the coincidental mutual release of The Ape of Naples / Aerial; he held her in enormous esteem – she was one of his household gods; and at certain points in his past he fondly conjectured or imagined there was some kind of creative ESP or aetherial shareware going on between them… he would have an idea for a future song and she would soon sing/air it; similar threads, arcs, areas would appear in their respective work.

And looking today at the lyrics for KB’s “How To Be Invisible”, I could almost hear JB sing them: uncannily and precisely similar, it seems to me.

(He was coy about particulars, but I suspect that KB “appears”, a vocal wraith, on at least one track of Astral Disaster, thru some Christopherson-manufactured laptop-sluice or electronic table tap ruse. They also both used that “It’s in the trees, it’s coming!” sample/quote
{I used to know the film it’s taken from… English, 60s or 70s, country house, children, a Crowley like mage …}

Into the shaking air, needing nothing… by the din of the waning light…”

There was a common fascination with English landscape, its light, birds, birdsong and the uncanny/familial Work of mourning. I would love to hear KB do a version of Coil’s “Broccoli”: “The death of the mother/The death of the father/are something you prepare for/all your life/all their life.”

Mercury and sulphur, moon and sun, JB and KB as two halves of an alchemical emblem or imago, a British tree behind them, red birds in its branches, dusk or dawn. Ravensong & Airvoyance. Owl and Minnerva. Boy and kestrel. Strange tender isolate children running & hiding in the woods, reluctant to return to the constraining hearth…

Do you know where your children are?


I had a rather uncanny experience in Wales this summer, involving a Coil track - from Astral Disaster, as it happens - a telegraph wire and a positively Hitchcockian profusion/invasion of swallows. And I was just about to add a line about JB’s liking for certain Surrealist paintings involving uncanny birds, when, tidying my desk, I turned over a nest of books to find the top book’s cover was a reproduction of … Rene Magritte’s La Clairvoyance: a hand, a paintbrush… a black bird. “Looking upon it with a sense of dread. Gazing upon it with a sense of dread…” And I just realised, recalled, that the first time I met JB, I gave him a drawing done by my own hand, of … a strange, daemonic, half man half bird figure. I’d quite forgotten this. (The only other interviewee I ever so gifted, was Diamanda Galas; because I knew she loved him, she I gave a slim & rather rare catalogue of Henri Michaux etchings from my archives.)

{I just lost (flown into the cyber aether!) a few paragraphs comparing KB and Madonna to the latter's detriment. Maybe she just wasn't meant to appear in even the same post as these two magickal, winged beings...; maybe I'll come back to it.

posted by Ian 12/07/2005 12:56:00 PM

(3) comments


It's in the trees, it's coming.

posted by Ian 12/05/2005 10:21:00 AM

(1) comments


From last night's Dream Diary, a few unrelated, un-anchored, floating phrases:

"Hey lissen: if there's a riot out there, break IN to the City..."

"I'm waiting, H___er; I'm sorry, Julian."

"It's a misdemeanours VIDA..." (?)
{double??: actually spoken by Without A Trace's Anthony LaPaglia}

{and, sung to a "Dirty Harry" type mekano-martial funk backing:
"I want your bealy-dealy-beefy boy!"

"Well: does he have any (identifiable) identity?"

"...a son, whose son is dead."

"I was plainly happy,
between breast and pleat..."

posted by Ian 12/04/2005 02:59:00 PM
(0) comments
Tis the season to be jaundiced ...

posted by Ian 12/04/2005 02:47:00 PM
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Ah, Goddess, you come (back) at last ... wooooo indeed

posted by Ian 12/04/2005 02:27:00 PM
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Having just realised that all three comeback posts were death related,
here's some lighter hearted stuff from the surf hinterlands, some silly,
some sublime, some just good news...

the new/last COIL album is finally on sale;

this makes me think that Vincent Gallo justifies the faith I have always
had in him, that he is indeed the ultimatefunny-uncanny-&-funny-who-HO
trickster-artist of this celebrity frazzled age (either that, or he's insane);

this confused me: if My Life Were A Film, apparently, it would be an (ahem)
Erotic Thriller; well, maybe, but the three films they give as examples - I
haven't see any of them. (A Charlotte Rampling film? OK! But Richard Gere?

not all of these work, but the Supremes-Pink Floyd I actually find quite
moving, and I love the Outkast-Floaters (and the Judy Tzuke-Floyd made
me realise where one particular Ultramarine sample originated);

and this may be a bit late, but it still rocks the (White) house, righteously.

posted by Ian 12/04/2005 12:53:00 PM

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sad to hear of death of john studholme
once guitarist with prag VEC

the whole band, but especially john & sue
were very nice to me when i first arrived
in london & i think they may have been
the first band i actually cackhandedly
profiled/intereviewed for the NME

they even let me play saxaphone with them
on a few live occasions
i think there's even a v. obscure
odds+ends compilation
where i briefly feature
under one of my ian-joke
band pseudonyms
(i remember laughing a LOT
with them: they were the
un-P.C. let-it-all-hang-where-it-will
i remember long pub afternoons in
west london;
i remember one long rehearsal
afternoon in a small dark room
off the Holloway Road;
i remember plink plonk playing
with Sue's WASP synth,
in the Westway eyrie john &
sue shared at the time
(she/they really ahead of the
curve there with that WASP, come to think
on it...);
i remember john recommending a book on the
Futurists to me;
IMPISH - john's face, sue's humour {very
macho pomp deflating, singly, or together};
i remember...
too much.
too much these days.
these days...
contemporaries dying:
it's not ...
ah sheeesh.

not good.
not good at all.
{this depressive want for
decent expressiion just one of the
reasons i couldn't do a 'proper'
Obit for john,
a whole constellation of reasons,
but i hope someone who knew and loved
him finds a way...

& thoughts to those who did know and
love him.

I.P. {1/12/05

posted by Ian 12/01/2005 09:04:00 AM

(2) comments