Friday, 28 November 2008

The Only Sports Journalist in the World

Athletes are the penultimate symbol of national duty, veritable King's men holding steadfast to the nation's chilvaric code. They are often godly men well-versed in the conservative arts, masculine guardians of the family and the traditional structure of society. Sport, they claim, should be a refuge from the real world, an abstraction and an escape. Sports journalists, like financial journalists, act as their loyal technocrats, filling their pages with statistics, shielding their subjects from society. Yet athletes are more than symbols, particularist abstractions in their own right. They have access to a wealth that most never see and in their symbolic gestures they make very real political statements about what is proper conduct for a national citizen.

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is one journalist that breathes fresh air into this suffocating climate. It is rare that such a man of music and art, a true subterranean, has found his way in this environment. For you sir who always rocks, I salute you.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Pullman on Manet

Tonight at Somerset House's Writer's Talks in the Courtauld Gallery author Philip Pullman pontificates on the proletarian gloom of Édouard Manet’s famed A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Maybe this will serve as the impetus for Pullman to finally finish his Class Warfare for Kids compendium we’ve all been waiting on.

Go to for the full preview.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Hip Hop Cher Style

Nothing says hip hop more than the Antares Auto-Tune, the famed audio processor popularised by no less than that rugged and raw progenitor of urban angst Cherilyn Sarkisian. Let's face it Bambaata's synth vocals were too soft for the new millenium. I wonder if Will-i-am has that backing track cooked up yet for Obama's Auto-Tuned inauguration speech. Do you believe in life after Bush?

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

In Reluctant Recognition of Brian Wilson

While Brian Wilson's genius lies in his ability to convey a wholesale rejection of adulthood in favour of the whimsy of puerility without uttering a word, he is no more enjoyable than listening to a five year old boys choir playing vocal Candyland. Luckily, the beauty of music lies in interpretation. It turns out one can remove the medium from the absurdity, in this case multiple part vocal harmonies from Wilson's zany Peter Pan fantasyland, add the weariness of experience, a wealth of influence, one part CSNY, one part Eno and Byrne, and the outcome is a new direction in American independent music.

Fleet Foxes - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.