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“Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains…”
—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.
“‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and party every day.’ That’s an old Kiss song. But back when the song was new and my wife Leslie was 12 years old (this was before we married), she heard it as, ‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and part of every day.’ OK. Again, a necessary mistake, to make the dream accessible — imaginable — to a 12-year-old.”
—Frank Kogan, ‘Let MTV Ring’, Village Voice, 5 June 1990
In the mid-90s I was working as a sub-editor at the film journal Sight and Sound, a job I enjoyed a lot: the people I worked with were smart and friendly and entertaining; the magazine’s subject matter was detailed and interesting, and a lot of it was new to me; during work hours focusing on and absorbing the history of cinema, in my own time researching earlier histories of music and technology, I was able to push to the back of my conscious mind how exhausted and burnt-out I was on paying mind to present-day music; how dispirited and heartbroken I was at losing my job at The Wire, though this wasn’t the cheerful story I told myself. A brief season as chief explorer of an amazing secret path under the pop entire battlefield! And now an exile; or double exile, really…
Who would you keep? Who would you drop? Who would you draft?
Assume you have all the budget you could possibly need, and all the persuasive powers to cut through shyness (or else tell the story of who you think you’d fail to coax in…)
Is it still a lobbying ad for the BBC? Is it an ad for the BBC today (as opposed to 15+ years ago)? Is it something else entirely? You curate and you explain!
Would you strive for:
less of the wrong kind of cool (paging wichitalineman)?
less of the wrong kind of soul (paging punctum)?
less of the wrong kind of teenybop (paging puking purplekylie)?
less of the wrong kind of rap (paging everyone!)?
less of the wrong kind of reap!
less metal? (ok can’t actually be less metal i don’t think)
less repeat appearance-y?
less top-of-the-range nobbers phoning it in? (YES s/b FEWER SHUT UP)
less quilty pleasure (more actual real pluralism)? (yes i said QUILTY SHUT UP)
less unappealing to YOU THE CURATOR? (be bold! be interesting!)
less 90s? (go wild! you can after all travel in time)
List suggestions and manifestos in the thread and we will take it to RIGOROUS POLL SCIENCE
And under the cut, the 29 artists in the BBC’s original, just to remind everyone
Michele Kirsch is a friend from NME days; Mama K’s True Stories began as a column devised for City Limits in the mid 80s. It suited her writing style — and the need for it perhaps marked the accelerated dwindling in that time of the range of ways you were likely to be allowed to talk about music or books or film or life, at least in weeklies and monthlies devoted to record reviews and tour news and the promo interview run. City Limits was not long for the world in any viable form; I went on to edit The Wire and lost touch with MK till I ran into her on a Hackney street-corner a couple of months ago.
“But rock criticism does something even more interesting, changing not just our idea of who gets to be an artist but of who gets to be a thinker. And not just who gets to be a thinker, but which part of our life gets to be considered ‘thought’. Say that – using rockers like Chuck and Elvis as intellectual models – young Christgau, Meltzer, Bangs, Marcus et al. grow up to understand that rock ’n’ roll isn’t just what you write about, it’s what you do. It’s your mode of thought. And if you do words on the page, then your behavior on the page doesn’t follow standard academic or journalistic practice, and is baffling for those who expect it to.” –Frank Kogan (responding to Xgau; update: see Frank’s comments below for link to complete piece, or go here)
“People who write and read and review books are fucking putting themselves a tiny little bit above the rest of us who fucking make records and write pathetic little songs for a living.”—Noel Gallagher
FIRST OF ALL: look away now, there be massive spoilers in this discussion.
SECOND OF ALL: look away now if you are Christopher Tolkien, nothing here will lift yr spirits.
THIRD OF ALL: look away now if you routinely despise Tolkien and all works, viz elves, fantasy lit, slapstick CGI, etc.
<– note for slowpokes, this doesn't happen in this film, it's just a picture i like a lot
The Hobbit is a not-very-long book for children which takes a small person with big private dreams out into a very large world, in which said person is able to demonstrate his value to others, and that (to nearly everyone's astonishment) he is a wise and resourceful fellow to have around, in some quite unexpected ways, who hides much of this behind a mask of semi-deliberate silliness (except sometimes the mask is the face: ppl who play at silliness for whatever reason get into the habit of silliness).
… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community, and crossposted at FT.
In which 5IVE and disgruntled chums help a revenant but unrepentent DAVROS to infect his multitudinous metal brood with
MORGELLONS the MORVELLAN DISCO VIRUS, as a reward for getting him out of jail. Or something.
[11.10.13: commentary updated below]
A notoriously very-hard-to-follow DO-YOU-SEE allegory for the utter lack of honour among the galactically villainous. Doesn’t help that from the off it’s a switchback of mistaken identity via doubles: meaning that coppers and soldiers and even daleks are not who you immediately think they are. Doesn’t help that I watched it more than a year ago, before various distractions intervened and derailed me, and haven’t revisited (bcz my “method” does not allow me to). So instead of discussing the plot I’m going to bore on abt the Daleks, turning the tables you might say hohoho *sigh*
The setting: two places and two time (Butler’s Wharf and a prison ship in space; 1984 and THE UNSPECIFIED FUTURE ) have been superglued together by a time-corridor. The prison ship is under attack by a space cruiser.
As a kid I had a couple of picture books which visualised sound — natural and orchestral — as lines and brightly coloured abstract shapes and star-bursts. I loved them (and should look them out and scan some pages) but of course you couldn’t actually hear the sounds being visualised, and the images were still. Animation that illustrates music isn’t a new idea, either, but I do actually love the overlap between graphic scores, score-composition and realisation considered as a programming software, and interwoven sound and vision unfolding in real time.* Here’s someone doing it with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
The Adoration of the Earth:
The Exalted Sacrifice:
I don’t really know who east sky/taktophoto is (or are)*: but his/her/their tumblr republishes sets of images gathered from all over the place (always linked to, generally captioned as per the original, never commented on). The images can be hypercoloured, intricate, abstract, surreal, sexy, ridiculous — sometimes strange wtf artworks, sometimes simply startling photos from nature, hard as this very often is to believe at first glance.
As a kid I only read British comics (Beano, Dandy, Topper, Beezer, Sparky et al), and never graduated to — or really understood — Marvel or DC. They were too vast in conception to catch up with, I felt: too big a universe, filled with too much backstory. As a consequence I only recall two ministories, a Spiderman vs Doctor Octopus which ended on a cliffhanger as the latter hefted one of those water-coolers that sit on top of New York buildings at the former OH NOES, and a Silver Surfer spread where this gentleman floated unconscious in space while a squamous and bubbling mucous-beast crawled though a mirror from an eldritch dimension into an empty (excuse alliteration) marbled mansion OOOOH NOOOOOES. So anyway, I didn’t get much of a bead on what Superheroes were like as people. Lately I have embarked on a study of same — for other purposes eventually to be revealed (possibly) — and have drawn up a table, based on Iron Man1&3, The Hulk (second half only), Capt America, Thor, and Avengers Assemble.