Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2010

GIG REVIEW: Gil Scott-Heron at the Warehouse, 28/4/10

They was callin' us militants when they was the ones with all the guns...

A long beat.

We stew for an hour or two, growing leany and questioning the man's dramaturgy (or sloth). It is a ex-firebrand beatpoetnovelist-protorapping-politico-bluesman I'm expecting, and such people are punctual, if indeed they are at all. You await a walking historical will, memories and testament of import falling from his tongue like ash.
What we get is better than any of that idolatry nonsense; who stotters on is a human being. A flatcapped, slyly charming, grandfatherly kind of Name.

He opens the night not with oratory; not with his old funked-down blues; not with his new, life-marinated trip-hop, but instead with 20 minutes of warm story-jokes about the volcano-airspace ("Only volcano that ever messed with me") but also effortless history lessons; he's playing a down-to-earth line, complaining about spelling, but there are flashes of the arch poet underneath - as when he conjug…


dreading the past – missing a future –
I can't reckon. I'm not right.
though I'll not purple over the verdure,
nor demonise serious men who'd grey it.

– though he will upend, undo
with his bare two hundred hands
(money makes Atlas of anyone).

a mistake to call this nature,
the grove's as architectural

as highrise municipal redwoods.

our pasture's no more natural than a God's acre sowed.
this place, brick-green & pillared in Ionian birch,
is a veneer merely of my animal haunt.
Isn't much nature to go around,

only these rare soft streets
we begrudge the intrusion of.
Natural Aberdeen resents the arboreal eyesore, will

correct the undersight
blip in granite graph.

Just, mere, only. Eyes do not quite die of green deficiency.

Repurposing our development
they entomb, at last, illusion,
unhook my love for semblance from
its pretences. (Civil botany.)

a queer serenity for now, the
usual dull immortality of large trees framed
fittingly by demolition.

no su…

My World According To Pablo (#1)

"Sonic-Reducer: Who is Pablo and all the other people you're singing about? Are these real people?

Lars: That's our secret. One of several reasons for that is that we want to let people build their own worlds according to Pablo."


Unapologetically cloying. I mean; it's Billie the Vision and the Dancers, the sweetest and most engrossing narrative pop music I've ever blundered upon. Over five albums (so far) we are wound round with their wryly giddy worldview, are gossiped into the conversational landscape of "Pablo Diablo" - a creature who is more or less an alter ego of lead singer/songwriter Lars.

It's bruised-joy and it's a shrewd sentimentality. It's the epitome of that inexplicable trend in Scandinavian pop music of carrying off even the most twee aesthetic.


Another one of my obsessive gushes. I should stop here if you don't care for critical overreading.

Does "twee" not imply "tasteless"? N…