Experimental Music Love

March 21, 2009

Life Update 1 21/03/09

This has been my week.  Not my actual week.  My thoughts on that week, converted into words and typed onto a laptop and transmitted across the Internet through the most annoying, infuriating blogging site there is and ever will be.  Anyway:

What I Read:

This week I have been mostly reading things related to my dissertation topic of how the popular artform of the hippity-hop can compare to debated trade/craft/profession/calling/shit-stirring embarassment that is journalism.  These have included the brilliant A Change is Gonna Come by Craig Werner, a fascinating trawl through Black America of the last 50 years, as told by its musicians.  From gospel’s routes in diasporic Africa, through rock and roll, Motown, Stax, soul, disco, funk, jazz, real rhythm and blues, Prince and Michael Jackson, all the way to hip-hop, it tells of the characters, beliefs and talents that link these genres, giving a voice to that cry for freedome.

Beautifully told, it doesn’t gloss over the despair, yet isn’t afraid to inspire the hope, near gospelising the words of Mahalia Jackson, Dorothy Love Coates, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen (yes), Chuck D, Raekwon and many more who have both shaped and told  of a worthy uprising through music.

Also, my first real exploration of Carter’s silly reign.  Was constantly on the verge of tears though every time Dr. King was mentioned.  Every word in that book was for him.

What I watched:

Tiredness has stopped much productivity this week, so I’ve probably watched more than I should have.  It’s been good though.  No films, as I’d feel too guilty taking out so much time from writing/reading/listening, but DVDs and the Internet have shown their greatness again.  The most pleasing moment of course was the return of the greatest man in British arts and entertainment today, Stewart Lee, to the BBC with his Comedy Vehice (available on the wonderful iPlayer – a fantastic thing which shows just how great the BBC can be).

This was a show of 20 minutes blissful stand-up, analysing the banal words of Chris Moyles and the hyperbole of Asher D and his version of hip-hop.  There were some odd sketches too which didn’t work, seemingly forced into satisfy BBC producers too afraid to just have a great stand-up doing great stand-up.  Jesus, Live at the Apollo gets by fine with a lot less talent, so why not Lee?  Oh well.

I also watched some more of series 3 of The Wire, as I get immersed in the world of Hamsterdam.  And it is still very excellent.  NOT the GREATESTTTTTTTTT SHOW EVRRR OMGGGGGG MUVVAZ that many smart minds have proclaimed, but it is fascinating in its complexity, and reality.  Certainly, the lives of the moire illicit characters, from Bell and his business idealism to Bubbles and his struggles, past Omar and his complex path are wonderful portrayals of characters rarely, if ever, seen let alone developed to these immaculate extents on any artform outside hip-hop.

It’s the law enforcement side of things that let the show down (just a little mind).  McNulty is a poorly performed, incredibly annoying ‘police’ that fails to raise enough sympathy to go along with this pathetic drunken mess who just wants his sons in his life, yet he’s too hung-up on Disney dad issues to be considered anything to idolise.  Just another maverick cop it’s hard to care about.  Bunk too follows the formula of cool, big black dude, streetwise yet with his own torments.

And Jesus, Lance Reddick as Daniels is shocking.  He only has one expression!!!  One!!!  This one!!!  Intense?  Or wondering why I’m not as good as the guy who used to be in Family Affairs?  Kima’s cool though, and Herc and Carve are incredibly interesting types.  It’s still great no matter, and worth it just for anything and everything to do with Bell, Barksdale, Poot, Brodie, Marlo, Cutty etc.

What I listened to:

Apart from what I’ve reviewed/am reviewing, mainly the brilliant Spotify.  The greatest innovation in music since MySpace.  It’s like how you wanted Last FM to be, but were so disappointed when it turned out it was shit.  Through this, it’s mainly been 50s and the past country, r’n’b, blues and rock and roll, a delightful selection that brings up Wanda Jackson, Bobby Short and anyone else worth caring about.

I’ll also mention Dorothy Love Coates and Mahalia Jackson here as well as they are fabulous.  Judaic relgions, and theri millenia of troubles, hypocrisy, lies and manipulations were worth it for the words of those two women.

What I ate:

A sausage supper.  And many pack lunches that I took with me each day to the library, where I have been reading old editions of the brilliant, in an Amiga Power self-referencing, humourlicious, sort of way Hip Hop Connection.  Many interesting stuff in there.  More in later editions of this blog.

What was in the news:

The big story for me, and every comedian on Twitter it seems, was the disgusting way The Sunday Express decided that a few cobbled together, out-of-context quotes and pictures from the Bebo pages of the Dunblane massacre survivors made for a great story of how they’ve used these subsequent years, taken away from their classmates, to drink, and learn about sex and have fun, and, you know, BE FUCKING TEENAGERS!!!  Obviously, it’d have been much better if they had been shot in their stupid little heads back in that gym class so we wouldn’t have even more yobbos on the streets.  Jesus!  Anyway, other bloggers express this far better than me.  So listen to them.  I do think sacking for both Paula Murray (the write) and Derek Lambie (the editor, and former student of Stirling University, the uni I go to, and former editor of Brig, the paper I help create each month) is the only fair option here, considering the fates of other media sorts.

What I took a picture of:

Nothing this week, but will remember to do so for next time.  Look forward to it!

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