Friday, September 30, 2005

Self-Promotion A-Go-Go

Some recent article links, since none of you ever actually pick up the New Statesman as far as I know:

The Download - Kanye West
The Download - Don't Look Back (Lemonheads/B&S)
The Download - Grime/Dubstep
Edit: this week's column:
The Download - Sebastian Tellier & Europop

Unless you subscribe (for dollars), you can only look at one article per day or something, so you'll have to ration yourselves (ho ho ho).

Also, check Monday's MediaGuardian for a largely hagiographical piece by me about Plan B magazine. Edit: which is here, though only if you're registered, which only takes a minute.

Never Backwards

So I don't have to keep telling everyone when London's finest dubstep/grime night is, or who's playing, or anything, here y'are:

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Privatise This

Tony Blair’s ninth speech to Labour Conference as Prime Minister, and the Dear Leader is evidently still not for turning. Or apologising. Or buggering off.

"New Labour was never just a clever way to win; it was a fundamental recasting of progressive politics so that the values we believed in became relevant to the time we lived in."

I believe him on this. I believe that he believes that Labourite social democracy does not work; but that New Labour does, and has. I also believe that New Labour is not compatible with Labour, and it’s about time he left. TB made a comment implying that the rainbow coalition ("from Dennis Skinner to myself") was a self-evident success, but this is no coalition.

There are definite, unequivocal reasons for celebrating ‘New’ Labour’s tenure (anyone who says ‘Labour are just like the Tories now’ deserves the vote less than they deserve a slap in the mouth): The New Deal, Sure Start, the Working Families Tax Credit, the increase in investment in public services, the healthy economy, the Northern Ireland peace process, the attempted crackdown on yob culture on sink estates and the regeneration projects that go with it, the support for more debt cancellation and AIDS aid from the richest nations… all well, good, and to a greater or lesser extent, socialist.

But – leaving aside the problems I have with TB over civil liberties, the environment, faith schools, and his choice of foreign friends and adventures, there’s one thing which screams out to me still as the clear proof that he is not fit to lead the party which is still (as far as I know) officially called The Labour Party: privatisation. I shouldn’t really need to explain why, nor to say that I do not believe in wholesale renationalisation and the "command economy" he so disingenuously described in his speech. The Labour Party is not a party that should feed the private sector our money and control of our health and our education. There’s a reason why the only stories you ever read in the papers about privatisation are about scandals, overspends, embezzlements, inefficiency and corruption.

TV Punorama

read this and watch in horror as the tea/beer/lucozade you are drinking shoots out your nose. a couple of the posts are mine, but the best ones are courtesy of ian mckinnon; in short, it's tv shows you wish you could see, and it makes me laugh more than is healthy.

make sure you contribute some of your own n' all.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Observer Music Monthly Gets It Wrong, Wrong, Wrong Again

2,184 words about black music's DIY ethic as artists struggle to break into the mainstream, and only one of those words is 'grime': it's mentioned in passing in a list of other genres. There is no reference to anyone even vaguely connected to the scene.

Which seems to me rather like writing a piece about the Conservative leadership election without mentioning any of the candidates. Or Michael Howard. Or the Conservative Party.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Just Your Favourite DJ Saviour

This may just be the greatest thing I have ever seen. An American High School percussion group have learnt to play two DJ Shadow tracks from 'Endtroducing' with real instruments. I can't say much more except huge props to the group leader for deconstructing all of Shad's beats and loops and somehow arranging it for young, amateur drummers and xylophonists. This in itself is a musical feat. Check out the tape and be amazed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Guardian or theguardian?

Well Liza and the rest of the Cabaret team are having a rest today so here’s my promised bitch-list about the new Guardian. The main problems:

1 – Lucy Mangan is still there. 2 - "this week x has been watching/reading" at the bottom of each one-page G2 column: perhaps my least favourite newspaper innovation ever. 3 – Lucy Mangan is still there. 4 – the comment pages now feature simon jenkins and max hastings, and are about as left-wing as Mussolini (after 1922, history fans). 5 – alan rusbridger has admitted that the paper is moving to the centre ground and abandoning its radical, muckraking roots. 6 – I’ve lost the evidence like a big idiot, but I’m sure I’ve already spotted at least two more examples of big league product placement (one of them Sky Sports) within editorial content. This follows up the ignominious sop they made to Nike earlier this year (depicted right). 7 – however much they (and The Independent, and The Times) pretend otherwise, the fact of the matter is: smaller newspaper = less space = inferior coverage. 8 – I like music and film as much as the next shallow twentysomething, but to rebrand Friday Review as Music & Film and therefore drop theatre, dance, architecture, art and other less populist forms seems a leetle bit like, um, dumbing down. 9 – Lucy Mangan is still there.

What I like about the new Guardian – the daily sports supplement, the Doonesbury debacle, and the masthead.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Welcome und bienvenue my cabaret of blogging. High-kicking girls, free-flowing wine, and a smorgasboard of obscure grime mp3s, eastern european history, bad puns, and bitching about how The Guardian isn't as good as at used to be when it was an unmanagable broadsheet will be the order of the day. Enjoy.