Posts

Notes on Times They Are A-Changin'

Image
This album and the title track are considered emblematic of the '60s: its sense of social upheaval, of things getting better, of hippies and young and black people fighting in the streets for a better day. But this album is anything but an anthem to these things. Just listen to Dylan's voice as the soon as the opening lyrics arise: come gather round people wherever you roam. He sounds just as old as the mothers and fathers throughout the land- don't criticise what you can't understand. Young wise, old naive. Never did Dylan sound so weary, so fucking tired and battered by the circus of being a folk musician, by the circus of American society than in the Times They Are A-Changin album.

The album, having opened with the claim that the tables are surely turning, then goes on to cough up the blood and infected guts of America, tales of forgotten Americans going mad in communities where the work has dried up, where the red iron pits ran a-plenty, but the cardboard-filled w…

ON MUHAMMAD ALI HUGHIE MCILVANNEY SAID

“The man could pick flowers in a minefield and never miss a bloom”

Turns into dust: The Stone Roses & Bon Iver at Blackpool

Image

The beauty of Greatness

Image
“AINT YOU SEEN GEORGE?!?!!!!! HE’S SLOW AND DUMB LIKE A MUMMY….HE CAN’T CATCH A MAN AS FAST OR AS BEAUTIFUL AS ME! …. I DONE SOMETHIN NEW FOR THIS FIGHT I DONE TUSSLED WITH A WHALE I’D AHANDCUFFED LIGHTNIN’ THROWN THUNDER IN JAIL… THAT’S BAD… ONLY LAST WEEK I MURDERED A ROCK INJURED A STONE HOSPITALISED A BRICK I’M SO MEAN I MAKE MEDICINE SICK… IM BAD, BAD, FAST! FAST! FAST!! ONLY LAST WEEK I SWITCHED A LIGHT OFF IN MY BEDROOM, HIT THE SWTICH WAS IN THE BED BEFORE THE ROOM WENT DARK!”
When Muhammad Ali lifted the Olympic torch in Atlanta, 1996, it was as momentous an occasion as it was touching. For, just as when Ali accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2005, the event was symbolic of how the American establishment had finally managed to capture and cast Ali in their own desired image – a man who they had spent years, public money and federal investigations on, in trying to tie down during the ‘60s, without any success at all. Age has left Ali with Parkin…

Drake - More Life review

Image
More Life, Drake’s latest album, has been the set of songs I’ve returned to most this summer. Released originally as, according to Drake, a ‘playlist’, Drake’s lyrics explore exactly the same topics we expect him to: isolation and success, sadness and fame, love and heartbreak. It’s the sublime instrumentals - which Drake doesn't receive a single credit for - that keep his music alive and keeps the listener coming back. Whether or not Drake has much choice over the instrumentals, and to what extent his record company aims to manufacture a certain sound for him is unclear - what is clear is that Drakes sound is one which captures the furious moment in which we live like no other. The range of samples at use here is eye-catching, with distorted snippets from The Ojays, Jennifer Lopez and Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra being woven through a rich texture of synths, beats and electronic notes. Just what is about this backing sound, then, that makes this music so good? Mark Fisher describ…