Monday, March 22, 2010

Party Election Broadcast

There's going to be a general election on Thursday 6 May then, and it'll be called in the next couple of weeks, maybe after Easter weekend. As you brace yourself for the quiet tumult of 60 million people murmuring "they're all the same" in unison, I think a little bit of Chris Morris et al from 1996:
      On the Hour - Party Election Broadcast

"Forward with the future time" indeed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Publish, damn, and be damned: Hyperdub, Woebot, and the death of negative criticism

[Ikonika by bildungsr0man]

This is a tale of two blog posts.

Part one: Ikonika and Confused Uncle Syndrome

Music blogging legend Woebot jumped back into the pool recently after some time away. Heralding his return was a piece on Ikonika’s debut LP ‘Contact, Love, Want, Have’, which started with this delightful paragraph:
To that from a Dubstep release by, not a white bloke, but a black girl. Am I being unnecessarily controversial by suggesting that Hyperdub is practicing reverse sexism with this and the Cooly G records? Shouldn’t race and sex be irrelevant? Do these releases prove or disprove that? Does anyone care?
Now, contrarianism - that ol' chestnut, provoking debate - that's one thing. But this is just bafflingly lost. Some of Woebot’s peers from the blogosphere's old guard now paper over the cracks in their knowledge (and interest) in club music with confused, confusing dismissals of these 'ere new-fangled sounds. Simon Reynolds' dismissal of Jam City and Joy Orbison was a particularly laughable example of Confused Uncle Syndrome: out-of-touch bloggers briefly looking up from their post-punk reissue packs, like retired army generals aroused from slumber by the sudden arrival of a hyperactive child in the members' lounge.
Read more »

Monday, March 08, 2010

Lost Treasures of the Black Heart

(flyer by the superb Anna Saunders)

Tomorrow at The Black Heart pub in Camden, I will be reading selected extracts from Fearne Cotton: The Amazing Story of Britain's Brightest Young TV Star. This is part of Josie Long's comic homage to unacknowledged heroes and delightful obscurities,

The Lost Treasures of the Black Heart
£5/£3 if you come dressed as Lil Bow Wow or Charles Bukowski

Alongside proper actual performers like Josie and Robin Ince. Yes, yes, shurely shome mishtake, I know.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Feature for The Independent about
Salt N Pepa's return, and their legacy as feminist pop cultural icons - informing everyone from Destiny's Child to Electrik Red.

It has become received wisdom that a major millennial power-shift saw rap and R'n'B become the most anti-feminist music there is. Beyoncé, in particular, is derided by feminists as the ultimate in male-objectification fantasies – but there is another interpretation, around the idea that black women at the forefront of popular culture continue to – albeit subtly – subvert gender roles. Beyoncé's huge 2008 hit "Single Ladies", ostensibly a re-establishment of modern woman as passive wife, is arguably pure parody – Beyoncé is no longer a mortal woman but a cyborg, as her robot-arm in the video demonstrates. In the words of the superb It's Her Factory blog, "the song isn't an ode to marriage and property and heterosexuality, it's an Afrofuturist feminist critique of heterosexual courtship."