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Showing posts from March, 2011

there's bugger aw else in his heid

A Platonic Guide To Inception


Note that all this works for Kantians too. The point is: what artists to spook their audiences, philosophers live amongst. Also: setting your film in a dream excuses most sins (plot incontinence, blunt catalepsis, hysteron-proteron, narrative-time/discourse-time looseness).

"Inception is proof that people are not stupid, that modern cinema is not trash, and that it is possible for blockbusters and art to be the same thing."
- Mark Kermode


GIG REVIEW: Patrick Wolf @ Oran Mor, 23/3/11

(c) Claire Quigley 2011

What do you call a life constantly prey to only raptures or dissolutions?

Flanked by darkeyed redheads (violinist Victoria Sutherland, and windist Emily Fronten), our princeling comes on toting a choking croon, somewhere between Jarvis and Rufus. All in black but his hair, the colour, colour, colour of the man shoots out in all hues at all genders from track 1.
This damp-thigh devotion doesn't fit in with his old stuff (the tortured bedroom productions), and since half the set is still chambered sulky ball…

Listen: "Remedy" by Little Boots and "You're So Dumb" by Skrewdriver

Little Boots and Skrewdriver walk into a bar.

"You know what you are?" they each say.
"You're not G." they reply.

The need to be defined by, represented in, and agree with all one's music is a disease. (One contracted by both uploaders of these songs, "KatyPerry1010" and"NAZIxHELLxSCUM".)

Listen Cloze, Now: "I Can't Wait" by the White Stripes

"I can't wait til you try to come back girl,
when things they don't work out for you...
Who do you think you're messing with, girl?
What do you think you're trying to do?
Do you really think I want be laughed at, girl?
Who do you think you're trying to fool? certainly took your time..."

Melody tired. Structure predictable. Voice caterwauling. Lyrics recherché and chauvinist.
And yet! Nirvana wrestle Blue Oyster Cult for "I Can't Wait"s heart throughout. There's a simple pun to the title lyrics - "I can't wait" (I want you, come on!) and "I can't wait" (That's it, I give up.) - an ambivalence that nothing will conclude, least of all Jack.O course, all the White Stripes' songs are about love, but this includes love's aftershocks; the tension, resentment and sheer work involved can be heard in even, say, the sweetly canting Hotel Yorba. There's hidden derision under all his car seats and dark pews.F…

Listen Cloze, Now: "Teenagers From Mars" by the Misfits

"We learn to curb our will and keep our overt actions within the bounds of humanity, long before we can subdue our sentiments and imaginations to the same mild tone." - Hazlitt
"We need no introduction,
No visas or carte blanche,
Inhuman reproduction -
We're here for what we want."
jes some bad ol boys from space runnin round raisin hell.

How does a Jersey boy get himself such an Evil Elvis drawl-holler? (It must be that Southernness in rocknroll is an attitude for anyone with darkness enough about them.)

The Misfits are best seen as an extension of rockabilly, tacking on the head-down-straight-line drive of the Damned (the Damned themselves just the gothic Ramones - the Ramones themselves just the nerdy New York Dolls), and schlocky refrains - "space murder!"; "blowjobs!"; "little girls!". (So they derive misogyny from both B-movies & Jeery Lee Lewis.) So: upbeat atrocity! They keep RnB's jaunty energy, but move the lyrics fro…

Listen Cloze, Now: 'Tiger Phone Card' by Dengue Fever

"I call you from my hotel room
I'm sitting on the hallway floor
I know that we are so, so so
So tired; my phone card just expired."

The 60s (slink, sincerity, & sass) never died, they just went elsewhere.


"Tiger Phone Card" is fractal, like all great songs: the story of pop, entire in popsong format. Each part's individually generic (from Zac Holtzmann's weak Belle&Seb vocal, to the funk-surf backing, and even Chhom Nimol's beguiling Asian cabaret), but it reaches much farther, manages much more. It has the contagious hope all worthwhile invention does.
They play with light psychedelia and light exoticism, but don't allow either to override the point - which is, as usual, an American's desire for a hook. Which hook comes at 0:35, 1:24, and 2:29, and good god isn't she lovely.
The narrative's just an absent international love, rendered alternately with pragmatism and soaring sentimentality. I've actually spied conti…


"[x]started using Causes.
Causes strives to empower people from all walks of life to have a positive impact on the world in which they live. We allow Facebook users to organize into communities of action focused upon specific issues or nonprofit organizations."
- Facebook Causes

"Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it."
- George Monbiot's blog motto

I recently wrote in defence of protesting against diffuse, complex, faceless social issues. (I concluded that, yes, it's silly, but so's everything else.) We are subjecting activism to a lot of sneering and scepticism of late.

And so we should. Anything this vulnerable to tokenism and ignorant "Yeah! What she said!" posture deserves the scrutiny. What about delusory, guilt-displacing, one-click "slacktivism"? What good does raising consciousness do against:

what happened to Stephen Lawrence?

The global phenomen…

Potted History of Practical Reason

For a long while, all we seem to have had was the formula

(1) "Try."

(This is our best guess as to how ancient technology arose; blind iteration, & the occasional Black Swan leap.)

Then, someone - someone who was not even a priest - said:

(2) "Think and try"

Almost immediately she was countered by other new priestly non-priests who said:
(3) "No! Think and think!"

Thus, thanks to midwife Parmenides, Illusionism/Platonism arose. And rose, and rose...
Another one, soon after, said:
(4) "Look and think!"

But he didn't mean what we mean by "look" (he meant pigeonhole and presume).

The priests got back in then, and tutted at all these options and had a bunch of conferences, and eventually said
(5) "Solved! Now, obey."

And so we did that forages -and didn't exactly stagnate- but our new formulae were all careful ones:
(5.1) "Argue, then obey"
(5.2) "Pause, then obey"

(5.3) "Invent easier ways to obey"

GIG REVIEW: Les Savy Fav @ Tunnels, 1/3/11

"No-one can hear us die down here, ya know." said the singing shaman to the crowded underground.

He, the right reverend Tim Harrington, opens the night by chomping his hand and smearing the blood on his neck and chest.
We react accordingly: for two hours, it is difficult not to look at him. Rambling, lecherous and animated (in all senses), there he stands in tight rainbow satin, Goldilocks wig, and feathers. And then -disrobing- doesn't stand in them.
The dancefloor is just an extension of the man's stage: in his regular midsong strolls among us, we help him with his mic cord, lifting it like a bride's train (or like a bishop's). Lascivious and incoherent, he is Courtney Love in a portly Shogun's body. Or: a likeable GG Allin. Goodwill flows to him, and all about.

The crowd's sense of personal space dissolves by the first bridge in the second song, Excess Energies. Three strangers bodily embrace me. The pit is ideal; contact without impact, flow without …