Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Christina Aguilera for The National

Lengthy review of the new Christina Aguilera album for The National, reflecting on cyborg-pop, electroclash, riot grrl, and how the female pop zeitgeist has changed since Xtina's debut...
...in the work of someone like Gaga strands of consumerism, spirituality, physical pleasure, love, art and politics are woven into mass-produced tapestries that show almost everything yet tell almost nothing. While they may look fully formed from a distance, the closer one gets, the more they pixelate into meaningless synthetic threads. Aguilera can give so much more than that. Her most memorable work is finely crafted, her talents organic and gloriously human.

Historic announcement: Rinse FM goes legal

Big news a long time in gestation for London's leading (former) pirate radio station. Here's a piece welcoming the historic Ofcom announcement on the Guardian music blog.
There is so much that makes Rinse FM special: having to slow-dance around the room with an aerial in search of a better signal, the beguiling patter of the shout-outs, the adverts for raves voiced by MEN WHO MUST HAVE SOME KIND OF HEARING IMPAIRMENT, THE WAY THEY'RE SHOUTING.
Oh and here's a longer piece on Rinse I wrote for the New Statesman in 2007, foreshadowing the station's move towards legitimacy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

why it's okay to support england

"For my niece and nephew - two mixed-race kids who grew up in London - supporting England is a no-brainer because English football looks more or less like the England they inhabit... "The imagined community of millions," wrote the historian Eric Hobsbawm, "seems more real as a team of 11 named people." That they feel part of that community in a way that I could not makes me want to join it now."
Gary Younge - Why I’ll be cheering on England this year

"Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same. It is the bridge between the future and the past."
George Orwell – The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius