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Showing posts from November, 2014


   I worry about my friend Ian. Going through some tough times. Aren’t we all? Yeah, but not all of us have created one of the albums of the year and seen their work utterly unheralded. I thought that ‘The Vertical Axis’, Crause’s masterpiece from late 2013 was something it would take a while  for the ex D.I frontman to move on from, so stunning an inversion of all musical rules and habits was it, so total was its blazing of a trail, scorching the earth behind it, making forward motion the only option. He’s found a way though. By pushing ‘Songs Of Phaethon’ back out there, three songs from his recent past, a call, a zenith and a fall. Three songs that utterly reconfigure your expectations of what listening to music can be.  It’s music that, as you listen, scares you because it’s rubbing so much music out, erasing so much of the timewasting retrograde cowardice of contemporary pop, not ‘introducing’ you to a new kind of music but plunging you i…

Band Aid 30: Love Can Kill You

Hey, they're not making it easy for me to get behind this. I think part of the problem with Band Aid, both in its original 1984 incarnation and its new re-tooled 2014 version, is the utter fucking horribleness of everyone involved. If we're being forensic then we could blame Michael Buerk for starters. Michael Buerk's currently making 150 grand for appearing on a I'm A Celebrity, and could last week be heard on the open turd-strewn sewer that is The Moral Mazedefaming a victim of rape. It was Michael Buerk who helped break the Ethiopia Famine story in 1984 and at that time, he had a choice as a journalist, to represent the famine and suffering as an act of nature or an act of politics. Fatally, as he continues to do, Buerk chose to treat us like idiots, giving out a totally simplistic and false portrayal of the situation that inevitably led to simplistic solutions, a headlock of simplicity that's endured ever since in most reactions to 'third world crises'.…

The Same Grim Boat: some more thoughts about my 'proper' job


 An emotionally perceptive student said to me late this week. 'You hate us, don't you?' I was flustered. Nailed me. I need a weekend to recharge, prepare. Teaching, to a large extent is about confidence and preparation creates confidence. Preparation impossible with teachers workloads at the moment. Gone from a time when you'd look forward to the holidays to looking forward to the weekend to looking forward to the end of the goddamned day. I'm worried that my frustration with the job is filtering through to students. Who deserve that ire the least. Thinking, with the morning sickness, the pit of fear the stomach hasn't experienced since games/P.E days at school, why I'm still doing this. A feeling amped up massively when I get home (tearing off the lanyard that annoints me with dread every time I put it on) and read the latest comments from our education secretary.

Here's what Nicky Morgan said, as…