Useless Old Chamber

See here!
March 13, 2011, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Says this useless chamber: “I’m finished!”

Nowadays, it might be worth looking over at

Now playing
March 31, 2010, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Albums | Tags: , ,

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (2010)

In which the Albarn/Hewlett cartoon-band moves on apace, with a supporting cast of Mos Def, Lou Reed, Mark E. Smith and miscellaneous others. It’s a concept album (inspired by some plastic seen on a beach, no less), with some lyrics hinting at pollution and consumerism. Little Dragon (Yukimi Nagano) provides vocals on a couple of great chillout tracks, single Stylo is funky (if allegedly plagiaristic) and Superfast Jellyfish is lots of fun (but then, I’m a sucker for anything involving super furry animal Gruff Rhys). There’s some filler, but the whole thing works, not least as the lead memory of a revelatory recent trip to sunny London.

Dirty Projectors – The Getty Address (2005)

Dirty Projectors are the most exciting band in the world. Of course, that’s assuming the tens of thousands of bands I’ve never heard of are less exciting. But I could believe that quite easily. The Getty Address is even wilder than last year’s breakthrough Bitte Orca, building something unusual (well, a “glitch opera” about founding Eagle Don Henley), but unsurprising in light of writer Dave Longstreth’s coexistence in New York with the likes of Nico Muhly. Listening to The Getty Address‘ combinations of choirs, unusual percussion and orchestral instruments, it goes without saying that Bj√∂rk feels an affinity with them. The opening track is here.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Kollaps Tradixionales (2010)

To use a shit metaphor, post-rock is an unusual beast, and one that I’m only just beginning to tame. The heavy use of orchestral instruments (violins and double bass, in the band’s latest incarnation) and extended arrangements point towards something more refined than ‘normal’ rock, but there’s no conventional harmonic or rhythmic structure to hold onto. I saw all the songs from this album performed live at the start of the week, and it made much more sense in that arena. An intense show, but the music begs for its listener to have such a visceral experience. I particularly like I Built Myself a Metal Bird (the opening instrument is a violin).

R.I.P. Mark Linkous
March 7, 2010, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse took his life yesterday.

Once, during the May of 2007, the final term of my first year at university, I had to get a train home obscenely early in the morning. I left my campus bedroom for the station at around 6am, sleepless and zombie-like with Sparklehorse’s Good Morning Spider in my ears. Its songs still remain tied to that morning. Painbirds will always take me back to the walkway from Wentworth College up to the Biology Department; Box of Stars takes me to the Retreat bus stop, where I stood for minutes pondering whether to catch the next No.4 before continuing down the road; Hey Joe (one of Linkous’ Daniel Johnston covers) was playing as I walked past Dick Turpin’s grave and down onto Piccadilly; Cruel Sun transports me to Lendal Bridge.

Like Daniel Johnston, Linkous was something of an outsider. His was perfect music for the dead of morning, for a pensive break of dawn, for moving along a twilit path alone. That journey was his greatest impact on me – through it, I will remember him.

A joke for a literary theorist
February 22, 2010, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: ,

Q: What dessert did Michel Foucault value above all others?

A: The profiterole of meaning.

(artist's impression)

On my walk to campus
February 21, 2010, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Photos | Tags: ,

"Good morning, sir."

Hello world
February 14, 2010, 1:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,