“Punk is about being 16 and saying no” – Steve Severing (guitarist Siouxsie and the Banshees)
Conceptual messes go two ways; they can be seen for what they are (a mess), or they can be celebrated for their individuality. Fire Engines were renowned for their post-punk awkwardness and distain (c. 1980), and they’re back with another album.
The (other) critics suggest that perhaps they should have released a ‘Greatest Hits’ and bowed down gracefully from their legacy with a nice, tidy sum in pocket for doing fuck all. Predictably, Fire Engines capriciously went about it differently. The album is compiled of bits from their first live show, John Peel sessions and some alternate studio recordings with a couple of “(clips)” to boot. Continue reading
Very cute, but nothing memorable; the formula here is your standard cliché here and there with some fairly strong vocals on top of some fairly good guitar. The titles are horrifically boring, and thus commendably suitable; Don’t Look Down, Beautiful and Burning Out.
“Never seen a girl as pretty as you”
What the band seem to fail to have realised is that when this brand of easy listening was at its zenith, it was honest. Burning Out comparisons can be made to Irma Thompson’s Simply The Best, with the vocal soundings of Radiohead. Continue reading
As we are periodically updated on the progress of a governmental campaign to instil respect into the young people of this country, it is becoming increasingly clear that, at the highest official level, we live in a world where a brazen disrespect for legality and procedural propriety is considered the highest virtue. The notions of accountability and responsibility, so central to our established ideas about respect, are empty shells to which our officialdom pays but the merest of lip service, while it in turn demands the highest standards from the rest of society, indeed disproportionately focussing its anger on those most vulnerable in society in a series of campaigns and measures amounting to a crude war against the poor. Continue reading
No one site covers all the same ideas as iShotTheDeputy but God is in the TV comes close. They’ve published a couple of articles by our own Nathaniel Mehr, though their primary focus is on music and promoting gigs. Drowned in Sound is probably the oldest UK music site outside of something like NME.COM and a good deal better than any other in terms of depth and scope; if Mike Diver likes an album it’s worth giving it a listen. FRINK is a site co-run by our own Vivian Marie, reviewing releases and gigs, and organising events and Tiny Voices is another excellent music zine. Continue reading
On Saturday morning, Talking Politics tackled the subject of the Internet as used to to emancipate those in oppressive regimes. Back in the early days of the industry many people, Murdoch included, claimed the internet, by providing freedom of information, would allow people living under regimes of questionable morals to empower themselves with information and bring these governments down.
Of course, the truth is that China is such a lucrative market that companies like Google, Yahoo! and of course Murdoch himself, have been happy to censor what they are allowing the Chinese to view. In Yahoo!’s case, a user of their email account in China who posted about democracy was successfully jailed because they had agreed to Yahoo!’s terms and conditions which included not breaking the laws of your country. Clearly these rules were made under the U.S. regime, not the Chinese. Continue reading
Formally Introducing We Are Scientists – the interview + the bits I missed out on…
“We started this thing the way we begin almost any venture that we undertake – we were forced into it by a third party, either with threat of physical harm or emotional ruin. In this situation, it was a case of good old-fashioned blackmail. These guys, these Russian guys, they knew some things that we’d rather keep quiet. So: We Are Scientists.” Continue reading
Mary Timony – ‘Ex Hex’ (Out now / Lookout!)
Born and raised in the epicentre of the hardcore scene Washington D.C, and studying guitar at the city’s School of Arts, Mary Timony was always going to spend her life in bands. In fact since the early 90s she’s been in at least three, notably the Boston-based trio Helium. It’s a journey that’s seen her release records on such iconic labels as Dischord and Matador, and work with the likes of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous (who helped record her second album), whilst still finding time to graduate with a degree in English Literature. Continue reading