Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're all on televison...

Percival Everett is responsible for some of the funniest and most incisive satirical fiction written in those United States for many a long whiles. His most successful and celebrated novel, 'Erasure,' is peculiarly prescient - involving, as it does, the willing descent into quasi-celebrity hell of an academic writer tortured into artifice by a wholly indifferent audience. All Everett's novels exhibit the same invention and ambition; the same dedication towards exploring the possibilities of language and the limitless boundaries of these possibilities. In short, there is no-one quite like him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A 'Spectropop Presentation!'

The Paris Sisters had been recording artists since the start of the 50's, but it wasn't until a very young producer called Phil Spector came along that they had any real success - culminating in the 1961 smash, 'I love how you love me.' The Paris Sisters, for Spector, were very much a Teddy Bears mark II, but their music is an early glimpse into the pioneering production techniques used by him to create his unique sound.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There's no place like home

Powell and Pressburger's inimitable The Red Shoes has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and Charlotte Higgins writing for The Guardian film blog, bears eloquent testimony to this fact in her recently written eulogy. The Red Shoes is arguably The Archers finest collaboration and it is to be hoped that the BFI will syndicate its showing later this year to accompany the DVD/Blu-ray release.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't lose this good thing...

This is a slightly less well known track by one of the most underrated songwriters and performers from the early 1960's. Barbara Lynn's songs were recorded by a number of artists - Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones among them - her most famous song being the mercurial 'You'll lose a good thing,' available on this wonderful Jamie records retrospective.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's not a wheel...

...it's a carousel. The finest television programme , possibly ever, reached the end of its second series last week. Mad Men holds a mirror up to some of the most disquieting and disconcerting aspects of 60's culture and, by inference, our own times. In Don Draper they have created a character that is uniquely intriguing - on one hand, the very definition of respectability, on the other, monstrous - willing to do anything and everything for his own boundless self-gratification - witness the link to the clip here. If you haven't seen the show; and fellow twats should be ashamed of themselves if they've missed it, the first series is available to own now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We see progress too...

Ian Svevonius remains something of a renaissance man - writer and essayist, uncompromising propagandist, but above all, whacked out and up musicianista. Fans of the mighty Nation of Ulysses will remember his agit-propping from way way back and this latest incarnation confirms his reputation as the king of sass...