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)”

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”

Benny and Joon: Raisins

Benny and Joon from 1993 is a flawed but likeable film. Sure, it doesn’t really depict mental health problems in a subtle or realistic way (apart from June’s meltdown on the bus) and it’s all resolved far too easily, but it’s redeemed by beautiful performances from Mary Stuart Masterson as June and Johnny Depp asContinue reading “Benny and Joon: Raisins”

A Drop Of The Dark Stuff

Clout Theatre: How A Man Crumbled I’ve got a real love of Bouffon. For those of you who have never had the pleasure to witness it, Bouffon is the grotesque side of clowning. It’s European generally, although there’s definitely an overlap in physical performance terms with dance and theatre from the Far East, a laContinue reading “A Drop Of The Dark Stuff”

The Peel Sessions: PJ Harvey

John Peel was the first DJ (as was so often the case) to play PJ Harvey, and she recorded some of his favourite sessions for him over the years. The compilation -from 1991, to his untimely passing in 2004- has some of her best work, completely raw and unadorned. There’s a cheeky cover of theContinue reading “The Peel Sessions: PJ Harvey”

Preview: Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Few designers epitomised the spirit of the sixties like Dame Mary Quant. The iconic British fashion designer, who passed away last month aged 93, heralded a new freedom from the stultifying previous generation, representing the UK as the new leaders of fashion. Her work was exciting, colourful, bold and youthful, symbolic of the young personContinue reading “Preview: Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow”

Bye, Bye B52s

With their wild wigs, wicked wig-outs and smarter than they seemed lyrics, the Athens, Georgia legends The B52s are doing their farewell tour (at least, for now). Rock lobsters are (possibly not) provided. But before we say “Ciao”, here are a few examples of what made them so great: those killer harmonies, sci-fi sirens, surfContinue reading “Bye, Bye B52s”

Favourite Cover Versions: The Fall- Lost In Music

The Fall never did anything by the book, and their covers are always fun (more of which later) so what a delightful surprise it was when I heard this for the first time, aaaaaages ago. MES took Sister Sledge ‘s Disco classic by the lapels and shook it, until all the glitter fell off. HisContinue reading “Favourite Cover Versions: The Fall- Lost In Music”

Lost In Music: PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love

Recently, Ezra Furman said in a podcast that her ideal bar would have PJ Harvey ‘s To Bring You My Love on the jukebox. That sounds like perfection to me. Harvey’s third album, released in February 1995, was a startling departure from her previous brittle albums, Dry and Rid Of Me . A more febrileContinue reading “Lost In Music: PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love”