Lost In Music: Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling- The Water

I was pretty mean about Johnny Flynn in Stardust recently, but to be fair, he wasn’t so bad: it was just a poor script, really. To redress this, I’d like to point out that he’s often a great songwriter and has a gorgeous husky voice. This beautiful song, penned by him, also features that goddessContinue reading “Lost In Music: Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling- The Water”

The Notorious JT

From the late nineties onwards, the blistering prose of JT Leroy captivated many, many readers all across the world. Like a cross between Kathy Acker and Dennis Cooper,his fiction resonated, weaving high art from low places. In person,too, Leroy bewitched the literary establishment, a taciturn, androgynous and socially awkward figure in shades, wig and hat.Continue reading “The Notorious JT”

Overlooked Classics: Half Nelson (2006)

Many pop psychologists like to reference the phrase “teachable moments”, a term meaning an experience we can learn from. It’s not a term I’m terribly fond of, as it seems a bit obvious. We’re all works in progress, and so we learn all the time. However, if any film could be about teachable moments, it’sContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Half Nelson (2006)”

Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye

The brilliant, gifted ventriloquist Nina Conti may be better known these days for the ritual humiliation of audience members, as she gets people up onstage, slaps weird masks on them and makes them say ridiculous or filthy things, but back in the day, her act was much, much darker: a kind of psychological cleansing thatContinue reading “Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye”

Barbara Kruger’s Legacy

What a forward-looking lady. Barbara Kruger was, making huge scale graphics and photography when the YBAs were babies. She still is. You can’t ever dilute the spirit of people like Kruger. Having cut her teeth working with luminaries like Diane Arbus, inspired by the likes of Walter Benjamin, Kruger creates unflinching, anti- capitalism work inContinue reading “Barbara Kruger’s Legacy”

What ‘While We’re Young’ Got Right… About Gen Z Narcissists

*Contains spoilers* Who are the real cultural custodians? Generational discourse masquerading as rom-.com , While We’re Young, which was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, is a really intelligent, funny and thoughtful film. Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged couple, both working in film, whose marriage is getting moribund. EveryoneContinue reading “What ‘While We’re Young’ Got Right… About Gen Z Narcissists”

The Future’s Here Today: Current Affairs

Maybe I’m biased as I live here, but you can always rely on Glasgow bands to bring that punky energy. Current Affairs are yet another to shake your bones to. Joan Sweeney, Andrew Milk, Gemma Fleet and Sebastian Ymai have formed from many other fine indie bands like Shopping, Pissy, and The Wharves, so theirContinue reading “The Future’s Here Today: Current Affairs”

Overlooked Classics: Miranda Sex Garden- Fairytales Of Slavery

Many bands soften their sound as they progress, chasing more commercial routes. Not so for the experimental collective, Miranda Sex Garden, who followed up their goth rock album Suspiria with this absolute barnstormer. Fairytales Of Slavery, released in 1994, was co-produced by Einsturzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke. The band had toured with them, and some ofContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Miranda Sex Garden- Fairytales Of Slavery”

Theatre Isn’t Yer Living Room!

If, as Dr Ramani Durvasala posits, we’re living in an age of massive entitlement and incivility, this could explain the rise in theatre bad behaviour. According to an article in The Guardian (published yesterday) there’s been a huge rise in violence, disruption, loud food consumption, etc. across the UK. Several actors and members of theatreContinue reading “Theatre Isn’t Yer Living Room!”

Overlooked Classics: Trees Lounge

Steve Buscemi’s directorial debut from 1996 (which he also wrote) remains something of a cult film, often forgotten. I’m never really sure why, I think it’s rather brilliant. It’s got the toughness of Bukowski; the low-key observations of Carver, and dry humour of Jarmusch. Buscemi plays Tommy, a man who has lost his ex, TheresaContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Trees Lounge”