Monday, May 24, 2004

Current listening - Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the Hands
Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
M Ward - Transfigurations of Vincent
Papa M - Whatever Mortal
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

Current reading - Sandy Stoddard's bonkers letter in the Herald. The Wagner loving neo-classical sculptor (if, indeed, it is he)talks of Frank McAveety's love of contemporary music which he says is crude, onanistic fodder for immature youth. Hilariously he refers to "Beat Radio" blasting out of the cars of young hooligans and that fact that young men only wish to master two instruments, the guitar (well, fair enough) and the saxophone (eh? My Mum plays sax) because the involve fiddling in the vicinity of the groin. High art is about greater things than lust, he says.
Citing Kant, he states that aesthetics and ethics are linked, thus proving that Frank McAveety is evil cos he likes, ahem, beat music. As do "snooty bitch" art types who go "also listen to contemporary music". But he never specifies what he means by this. You'd think he just means the pop he's heard in snippets, but the sax indicates he's dissing jazz.
Like, lighten up and quit reading that Schopenhauer. It's,like, bumming you out dude.
He may well be taking the piss, but something it's difficult to produce pastiche this bonkers.
Unfortunately the letters page isn't online, so you'll have to rush out and buy a paper.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

What a prick

Read James Traynor's ignorant bilge from the Daily Record and weep.

That's right, dismiss people in the arts as effeminate ponces in their bow ties and tutus, as opposed to rugged working class football loving blokes like our Jim. Thinly veiled homophobia; that's the way to win an argument. Traynor's I'm-a-man-of-the-people-telling-it-like-it-is schtick is deeply phoney. He says arts folk should live in the real world and accept redundancies happen. A bit fresh for an overpaid footie pundit and gobshite tabloid columnist. No nonsense man's man Jim obviously doesn't give a stuff for Scottish Opera chorus members, but what of the hard-working carpenters, technicians and floor staff who could face the chop? What do you know, he seems to have forgotten to mention them. Readers might sympathise with them.
Of course funding the arts has to come second to the essential services, but we're a rich nation and should be able to afford sufficient funding for all these things.
Jim claims that the arts mean nothing to the Real People. That's right, Real Working Class People don't read books or go to the theatre or any of that crap. They have football, the People's Theatre. Fuck off. This is exactly the sort of pig-ignorant thinking that has destroyed the aspirations of millions of Scots for generations. We're working class, we're meant to be stupid. Fuck you Jim. Fuck you and your phoney bullshit.
This cultural attitude is more of a problem than notions of art being inaccessable. What exactly are artists suppost to do to reach out to ordinary people? Spend hundreds of thousand on one of Jack Vettriano's deeply unsexy contrivances? May I point out most tickets to Scottish Opera's La Boheme are cheaper than a good seat at Ibrox. The theatre is even cheaper. And art galleries? Free entry.
He's also quite wrong to say football doesn't get any funding. Maybe not an annual grant, but what about the millions pumped into football development at the end of last year. I have no problem with this, although you could argue that while we're shite at football, we're very good at opera so in terms of international reputation the arts deserve the money.
You're going to take poofy arts types to the mean streets of Scotland, eh? Show them what real hardship is like? Yes, cos you'd know, sitting in your flash car, filing your pompous copy from your top of the range laptop.
It also shows utter ignorance (perhaps intentionally) of what Scottish artists actually do, what they write about and make films about.
So the 55 arts leaders who wrote the open letter to Jack McConnell are pompous and arrogant whingers?
Takes one to know one.

To quote Tim from Spaced, "What a prick."

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mmmm, see me lapping up some Reel Food

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Why I hate the Streets Caroline Sullivan, who I often disagree with, has read my mind this time.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Trippin' out

My Triptych...
was a good 'un. Went along to Super Furries on Thursday and last night's smorgasboard of musical goodness at the Tramway for Is This Music?
Support at the SFA gig came from Adem, who was good, although not as folky as I expected. Sure, they've got harmonium and dulcimer, but the songwriting is more conventional indie. Not a bad thing, I should add, although there is a hint of Coldplay in the likes of 'These Are Your Friends'. But I'll let that go.
Mountaineers not so good - Turin Breaks or Crowded House with laptops. Saw them last year supporting Sparklehorse, so I didn't feel the need to watch the whole thing.
The Super Furries eventually came on around 10.30, half an hour late and 40 minutes before I had to leave to make sure I got my train. Oy vey. What I heard was good though - Golden Retriever, Rings Around the World and a couple of tracks from Mwung, which they promised to play in its entirety. They also did a bit more techno and drum 'n bass stuff off Guerrilla. My scouts will fill me in on the rest.

Saturday was one of the big nights at the Tramway, with three different stages. Caught the beginning of Animal Collective's psych meanderings before heading to Andre Williams. Made the right choice: Williams is the dude, a true showman and star. Perfect r 'n b infused garage rock 'n roll, with Williams' lewd growling and absurd lyrics (a dance called the bacon fat). Despite their Al Capone suits (black shirt, white tie) and hats, his band, the Greasy Wheels (what a name! Genius) were super cool, especially the foxy rhythm guitar player Jan. Andre had a fine outfit himself - a red double breasted suit. Natty.
The only misstep was when Andre tried to hock signed posters for a tenner. It worked in Edinburgh apparently, but to cheapskate Wedgies? Not a chance.
Great banter though. Pure filth ("All the guys who like pussy raise your hands!") but delivered with enough cheeky charm to get away with it.
At the end he takes a lap of honour along the stage, shaking everyone's hand in the front row.
After all this, Four Tet was inevitably disappointing. Beautiful records, but the old problem of doing electronica live raised its head yet again. Kieran Hebden breaks the beats down, cuts things up and adds some glitches and skips, but loses the groove. Good visuals though. Matthew Dear, who follows him, is less memorable musically, but more danceable.
Huge queue to Explosions in the Sky so we only caught the end. Sounded good though.
On paper, the lineup might seem a bit cobbled together, just being a case of whoever they could fit in on the night, but it made for an excellent evening's entertainment.